Merida’s beltway is already obsolete for the city’s mobility due to the growth and housing development of these recent years.
In this circuit, which day by day a huge amount of pedestrians and cyclists use, there’s a life-and-death game when trying to evade the vehicles that transit in it, informed Everardo Flores Gómez, Cicloturixes’ chairman.
According to the report “Ni una muerte vial 2019” made by Céntrico and Juntos por una movilidad segura, beltway Licenciado Manuel Berzunza is the second most dangerous road artery in southeast Mexico, and it’s ranked in the 5th place in the 500 deadliest streets and avenues in the country.
The Mexico-Veracruz highway, in Puebla; the Bulevar Ejército Mexicano, in Laguna, Durango; Cancún-Tulum highway, in Playa del Carmen, and Avenida 5 de Febrero, in Querétaro, are the routes that go before Merida’s beltway.
Cycling’s promoter said that he has gone through the 50 kilometers of this beltway, where there’s more than 60 neighborhoods adjacent to it, and in the last 10 years dozens of housing developments and industries have been created outside of it, what forces a lot of people to risk their lives by crossing it when going to work or to their homes.
Additionally, he said that the report of the authorities points out that the beltway was designed for a transit of 50 thousand vehicles a day, however with the increase of the vehicle fleet more than 130 thousand cars transit that beltway.
“Any person can do the experiment of travel the beltway for counting the number of pedestrians, bicycles and tricycles that cross both rails, so it is urgent to make a deep intervention of the authorities to create an infrastructure that offers more security for the citizens that have to cross that route”, he said.
He also emphasized the urge of instal – at least – three overpasses for compact vehicles like Anikabil’s bridge, as well as seven pedestrian bridges in the areas with the greatest number of people crossing, the intervention at the level of pedestrians and cyclists, the creation of deceleration lanes, and more expensive fines application for those who exceed the speed limits.
Until now, he said that the collective Cicloturixes has installed five white bicycles in different points of the beltway, one of them of Fernando, a high school student who died at the height of Francisco de Montejo neighborhood; there is another one from a worker of general services from Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, who lost his life just right before Dzityá bridge.
In the eastern part of the beltway, there’s one more white bicycle from a neighbor gardener from Kanasín, who lost his life at the height of 19th kilometer, the fourth bicycle belongs to Alejandro Albornos, a 27 year young guy who was run over by a patrol from Secretaría de Seguridad Pública, nearby San Pedro Noh Pat in 2013, and there’s one more after the exit road to Cancún, but all of them have a story behind, he said.
As a cyclist he said that the placement of every white bicycle has been very painful, so far 13 by the collective and 2 that were placed in particular, but they’re only placed when the family requests it; otherwise, the beltway would be full of white bicycles, because each year in Yucatan about 40 cyclists die on average, and those deaths are concentrated in that highway.
The speed is the major documented risk factor for pedestrians and cyclists, who when crossing the beltway can’t properly calculate the car’s speed, for what he said, it is necessary the application of fines for those who exceed the speed limits using police surveillance of radars and cameras.
He added that recklessness is also a very important factor in the number of accidents, like people who transit in the opposite direction at the emergency lanes or those who drink alcohol and then try to use the highway.