Mérida, Yucatán — The Centro is known for its sidewalks, and not for the most complimentary of reasons. Paths are often narrow, uneven or even broken. They are also obstructed with poles, boxes and street carts.
Sidewalks weren’t part of the Centro when it was first built hundreds of years ago. The entire street was a pedestrian area, shared with push carts and carriages. Narrow sidewalks appeared in the late 19th century and early 20th as cars began to appear.
Although they were intended to safeguard the safety of pedestrians, Diario de Yucatán writes that they often are not. And for that reason, people on foot often choose to hop off the curb and walk in the street.
Diario’s “Acción Vial” series on road safety runs each Friday until June 9.
The official regulations on sidewalks and the handling of them are the subject of the third installment of the series.
In new neighborhoods, sidewalks are integrated at the planning stage. On side streets they must measure 1.5 meters wide. On main thoroughfares, they are 2.5 meters wide under the municipal building codes that date from 2004.
The city will fill a pothole in the street, but property owners are responsible for the condition of the sidewalks.