Specialist says that Downtown Mérida should bet on generous pedestrian areas

Photo: (La jornada maya)

Mérida, Yucatán, (August 19, 2021).- Within the planning of the growth of a city, the pedestrian must play a primary role in the urbanization process, which should not focus on benefits for motorists, highlighted Roberto Remes, better known as ‘Rey Peatón‘ (Pedestrian King). 

The specialist in public space and urban mobility points out that public policies have to keep pedestrians on the radar and respond to their needs. 

“The problem is that since we do not know what we want to achieve in the pedestrian area, we do not plan it either, the policies do not reflect or advocate on this issue,” he lamented in the framework of World Pedestrian Day, which is commemorated every August 17th. 

The event, promoted by the World Health Organization, aims to promote adequate spaces for all people who move on foot and who are the most vulnerable link within a city, along with cyclists and users of public transport. 

Under this premise, Rey Peatón emphasizes that the center of the state capital should have more extensive pedestrian areas. 

“In the center of the city, it should be decided to have more generous pedestrian areas and have moderate traffic and move vehicles out of the central area little by little. On the other hand, in some residential neighborhoods, it is only possible to try to slow down, while the streets full of shops are the ones that should have the best pedestrian structure. In streets where nothing happens, investment in infrastructure can be postponed and focused on a culture of respect for pedestrians ”, explained the specialist.

Mérida is a growing city, from 2005 to date it increased 260,211 inhabitants, according to Inegi figures that report a population of 734,918 people 16 years ago and 995,129 citizens last year. 

Rey Peatón believes that government policies for these types of cities should also focus on promoting order among all users of public roads. 

“Respect and coexistence are the keys, if the adequate infrastructure does not exist, there must be respect. Public policy must promote that order ”, he highlights. 

In Yucatan, the Regulations to the State Traffic and Highway Law indicate that pedestrians are prohibited from walking with loads that obstruct their visibility and free movement; use public roads as a space to practice games, races or the like; hinder the work of the security or rescue bodies, among others. 

Instead, the pedestrian will have priority for the crossing, as long as they do not put their integrity at risk or a traffic officer indicates otherwise.

The Yucatan Times
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