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Bike lines in Merida: for some it is a feasible project, but for others is a construction work that only benefits a minority

By Luis R. Castrillón

In the midst of criticism, the construction of cycle paths’ project in Merida is moving forward and its rejection seems to be focusing more in the part that covers the avenue of Paseo de Montejo than on the rest of the 71 kilometers that sums up the set of routes that has been built in different points of the city.

However, there are also coincidences about the need to improve the project and as it lacks of both legal and technical support for its realization that should have included deeper studies about the mobility in the public space in Yucatan’s capital.

For the Observatorio de Movilidad Sustentable de Merida’s member and specialist in Habitat Design, Eduardo Monreal Toraya, the bike lines are a necessity that has as objective to guarantee bicycle user’s safety in the city.

He denied that the construction works made in Paseo de Montejo were actually removing a lane, but rather re designing it for the use of non-motorized transport.

Monreal Toraya made clear the alleged damaging to the cultural patrimony of Merida, by pointing out that the intervened areas – streets and sidewalks – in Paseo de Montejo are not part of the properties consideres Historical Monuments.

He also said that it is necessary that in the planning for the city’s future those who use non-motorized vehicles are incorporated from a sustainable’s mobility perspective.

He warned that it is a construction work in progress and that while it has elements that must be fixed it can’t be completely disqualified without seeing before how does it work when finished.

At the same time, the ex-president from Colegio de Arquitectos de Yucatan, Fernando Alcocer Avila, discarded that the bike lines are a priority issue because from the total of transport users only the three percent of Merida citizens use bicycles.

He pointed out that the mobility’s plan must focus in the reordering of the urban public transport, as it is the one that mobilizes the 47 percent of the citizens.

He made clear that the Coordinadora Ciudadana de Yucatan – a recent group created by businessmen and city planners – is not against the cycle path project, but in the way that it’s executed.

He explained that the project violates legal regulations and that it shouldn’t be in charge of the Instituto de Movilidad y Desarrollo Urbano Territorial, but of the Secretaria de Seguridad Publica, as he quotes, “because it is about a mobility’s issue.”

He said that “to declare that it is a mobility’s project is a fallacy”, for later assuring that “it isn’t a proposal of public transport” and that “it benefits a particular vehicle of just one person and that belongs to a minority”.

Monreal Toraya and Alcocer Avila participated this last 2 in a forum held by the organization MetropoliMID.

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