The residents of the Mártir Santa Eulalia crossing ask the City Council to take measures to improve accessibility on their street
A walker, a wheelchair or less heavy utensils such as a shopping cart or a stroller are elements with which the residents of the Mártir Santa Eulalia crossing cannot access their homes using the pavement. “Neither elderly people, nor people in wheelchairs, nor strollers can use the sidewalks, not even one person without more. You have to walk on the road, “says Enrique Borrego, one of the residents affected by the situation of the pavement that, together with the new urban planning measures implemented in this area of the center of the Extremaduran capital, make it difficult for pedestrians to pass through this street.
The neighbors comment that last week the City Council installed new parking spaces on the crossing. Some spaces that the residents assure, do not solve parking problems for users who access the city center because there are only five. Five squares that bring the neighbors upside down.
According to the president of the Azul neighborhood association, Julia Robles, the street has always had parking along the right sidewalk, so the pavement that gives access to the houses, the left side of the road was clear. The new urban measures that the Mérida City Council has put in place “have worsened the situation,” she says.
“Neither older people nor wheelchairs and strollers can use the sidewalks, you have to walk on the road.”
The street is now bidirectional to provide access to the Emerita hotel car park, says Robles. Added to this are the five new parking spaces on the left-hand sidewalk, which makes access to the homes difficult. “With the new car parks we are forced to walk in the middle of the road,” says Borrego.
This circumstance is caused by the width of the sidewalk is (0.80) centimeters, compared to the minimum stipulated by the urban planning plan of the consistory that is one meter fifty. Despite this, in the downtown areas and traditional neighborhoods, the crossing of the Mártir is, if the 0.80 centimeters of sidewalk are allowed.
For this reason, the residents ask the City Council to “eliminate the parking areas that are on the entire street and condition the pavement, which is also in poor condition,” declares the president of the Azul neighborhood community.
This circumstance also affects Pilar Reyes, owner of the Dickens Institute, who since 2020 has asked the town hall for a pedestrian crossing and speed bumps around her academy.
He fears that the new measures could cost the life of some pedestrian because “by opening the street in two directions you have to invade the opposite lane.” To avoid a greater evil during the school period, she herself organizes the entrances and exits of the academy. “I pick up my students in Pontezuelas and with a yellow vest and a stop sign we stop traffic to cross them to the academy because there is no pedestrian crossing,” she says.
Regarding the new parking lots, Reyes comments that the municipal workers had orders to paint parking lots in front of the entrances to the houses and thanks to the Police inspector, Francisco Paredes “they have respected those places.”
The neighbors have already complained about this situation to the Consistory on several occasions. According to what they say, the City Council recognizes the deficiencies but does not propose a solution.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.