Mérida, Yucatán — Although successful in neighboring states, the idea of turning some downtown streets into pedestrian malls is meeting stiff opposition.
Carlos Erosa Burgos, president of the Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles de Yucatán, or the College of Civil Engineers, lamented that merchants remain overwhelmingly convinced that they will lose business if cars can’t pass freely downtown.
“We have held constant talks with the relevant authorities to implement this proposal, which will benefit the free transit of pedestrians circulating in the center, but the opposition of the merchants and vendors is clear, since they think that will generate losses,” Erosa Burgos said, in Spanish, in a newspaper interview.
But he still insists that the idea would actually benefit merchants by encouraging commerce in certain areas.
It would also make the Centro safer for pedestrians who crowd the sidewalks daily.
“It is necessary that in Yucatan this situation is made, since at the peninsular level it is the only one (state) that does not have a space specially designated for pedestrians’ traffic, unlike Campeche and Quintana Roo, that do have them,” he said.
A study, “Mérida, Pedestrian City,” came out last year, recommending a modest no-car-zone rollout, starting with closing Calle 58, from 63 to 67, to cars. These two blocks are crammed with shops, between the Plaza Grande and the main market area.