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Progreso’s boardwalk is now for pedestrians only and reactions are mixed

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The road running parallel to Progreso’s boardwalk is now traffic-free. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Progreso’s boardwalk has permanently closed to motor vehicle traffic to make way for pedestrians.

The move was applauded by several groups, but some business owners have sent complaints to city hall saying that this policy will hurt their business.

Critics of the motor vehicle ban say that the policy will hurt local businesses and worsen traffic in the already congested streets behind the boardwalk itself.  

“This is one of the new policies to be implemented in our city. Making the boardwalk pedestrian-only will ultimately be better for visitors and locals alike,” said Progreso Mayor Julián Zacarías Curi.

Progreso’s Muelle de Chocolate features several great spots for photos and selfies. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Angry critics on social media reminisced about “cruising” down the malecon at a leisurely pace. 

“We are all for safety and improving traffic, but this feels like the end of an era,” Mérida resident Manuel Peniche said on Facebook.

Earlier: Progreso becomes Yucatán’s first disability-inclusive beach

The closure to traffic actually took place last week, but it was only yesterday that the city government clarified that it was not a temporary measure. 

“Cars take up so much space on the narrow boardwalks and often stop to load and unload people or goods, creating unnecessary traffic and risk. When we are in our cars we tend to be much more selfish,” added Zacarías Curi.

The move comes on the heels of a series of improvements to the boardwalk over the past few years. These include the creation of a wooden pier known as el Muelle de Chocolate and the installation of attractions such as the Ferris wheel and carousel.
The boardwalk also received a makeover back in June, taking advantage of the fact that it had been closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

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