Businesses appropriated public spaces in the Santa Lucía Square, in the center of Mérida, when they do not have the necessary permits to extend beyond their priority, recognized the Sustainable Mobility Observatory of Mérida (OMSM).
“That’s already an excess of attributions,” they said. Faced with this situation, the group pointed out that it is important that the municipality verifies this situation because businesses can not condition the public space, nor decide who enters or who does not. In addition, this issue should be regulated, rather than prohibited, that they can place their tables and chairs in certain spaces, at certain times.
On social media, the image of a red sign was made viral with the legend: “Prohibited the entrance of street vendors to this establishment,” which was placed in an Italian food restaurant, installed in the Santa Lucia park. However, this sign was placed in a public area, where people are free to walk.
All the businesses in this area of the city have used the park to expand their working space, placing tables, chairs, advertising posters, and other infrastructure in public spaces making it difficult for pedestrians and mostly for those who go on wheelchairs.
This situation was criticized on social networks. “Let’s recover our public spaces. Say no to the invasion of restaurants in the park of Santa Lucia. Does the authority allow this situation? They have the cynicism of “prohibiting street vendors”. They themselves are violating the public spaces. Let us raise the voice,” a user of social networks said.
Eduardo Monsreal Toraya, a member of the OMSM, explained that, as far as the observatory is known, the granting of public road space for fixed businesses is not in the current municipal regulations, including restaurants.
Licenses do not allow to make use of the public road to increase the usable area of the establishment. That does not exist. Authorizations must be within their property.
“However, they can not establish access prohibitions within the park. “That’s already an excess of attributions,” explained Monsreal.
“They are making use of a space that is not their property nor concessioned,” he said.
For this reason, the urban analyst states that it would be convenient for urban development authorities to clarify whether these businesses have a special agreement to do this or not.
There should be an established schedule so that they can place their chairs and tables, but not all the time. It’s nice to offer outdoor spaces, but there must be rules, otherwise, these businesses will continue to abuse this situation,” he said.
After the issue became viral on social networks, the City Council of Mérida, through the directions of governance and economic development and tourism, ordered to withdraw the furniture not allowed in the Santa Lucia Park, in order to guarantee the conditions of harmony and equality in public spaces.
In a statement, the municipality announced that by taking knowledge of the situation, the directors of governance and economic development and tourism, Ignacio Gutiérrez Solís and José Luis Martínez Semerena, respectively, met with the restaurants located in the place, with the In order to establish a dialogue that would allow to coordinate adequately and for the benefit of citizenship the use of said public space.
After the meeting, the immediate withdrawal of the structures that had been placed without authorization was ordered.
Additionally, they indicated that the City Council works in a regulation that norms the limits and responsibilities of businesses to strengthen creative economies and guarantee free transit.
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