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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Work has begun on Mérida’s new foodie corridor

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
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.
Computer render shows plan for Calle 47s planned foodie corridor. Photo: Courtesy

With a budget of 350 million pesos, Meridá’s Calle 47 in Centro is poised to become the city’s hottest area for eating out.

The project spearheaded by City Hall involves turning the already restaurant-rich street into a full-blown gastronomic corridor.

The yet-to-be-retooled street is planned to feature a single lane of traffic, a bike path, and a sidewalk. But concept renderings released to the public are inconsistent.

Banners have already been set up along Calle 47 to alert drivers of construction work. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Other changes also include the revamping of the area’s chaotic electrical infrastructure, which will be entirely underground. 

Like most areas of Centro, Calle 47 has extremely old and precarious electrical infrastructure, but this could all be changing soon. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Major works are also planned to connect Calle 47 with Santa Ana park to the west and the under-construction Parque La Plancha to the east

Work at the Parque la Plancha is already underway, but persistent changes in the government’s plans regarding what exactly it will look like and what it will include worry residents. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

But residents living on Calle 47 complain that this new project will leave them with absolutely no street parking and unacceptable levels of noise

Aerial view of Calle 47 taken from the Remate in July 2022. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Like most streets and neighborhoods in Mérida’s Centro, Calle 47 is home mostly to senior citizens, most of whom have lived in the same place for decades. 

Computer rendered image shows the proposed design for the corner of Calle 47 and 48. Photo: Courtesy

“They came around and asked us what we thought of the project. Honestly, I was quite worried they would not like what I had to say but spoke up anyway. But it’s not like it mattered, they are going to do what they want regardless of how people who actually live here feel,” said a local resident in his late 70s who wished to remain anonymous. 

Earlier: La Plancha park project moves forward with a huge budget

There are also concerns regarding parking, as restaurants in the area already primarily rely on valet parking services, which are themselves having an increasingly difficult time finding spots for everyone. 

The Remate de Paseo de Montejo in 1993. To the left is now an extension of Impala Café and the traffic island has been enlarged to include the Montejo statue. Photo: Diario de Yucatán archive

On Feb. 8, Yucatán Magazine attended a meeting to hear out the Centro’s international community regarding the project. 

During the meeting, international residents living in and around Calle 47 expressed concerns regarding issues ranging from garbage pickup, social justice, and the potential abandonment of the project once the current government leaves office. 

Plans to revamp Calle 47 and its surrounding area have also reignited the debate surrounding the controversial Monument to the Montejo on the Remate.

Those defending the statues argued that the Montejos are part of Yucatán’s history. But the statues only went up in 2010 and the plan further honors these conquistadors while so many homages to their name already exist in the city and their legacy is increasingly scrutinized. 

The monument has also been the target of vandalism on several occasions by feminist groups who regard its presence as offensive. 

Among the messages spray-painted onto the monument was the phrase “Mérida no es blanca,” calling on the double meaning of Mérida’s nickname, the white city. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
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