Regina st. in Mexico's historic downtown. From streetblog.org. Photo by Noah Kazis
I am sharing an interesting report of the results about pedestrianization in the city of Mexico.
Though, there were some complaints of gangs in one street, the other were plentiful of people.
" This is the first in a series of reports about sustainable transportation policies in Mexico City. Last week, Streetsblog participated in a tour of the city led by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. Upcoming installments will cover the city’s transit expansions, particularly its new bus rapid transit lines, and its bicycle planning.
Reclaiming Mexico City’s Calle Regina for pedestrians proved more difficult than simply closing the historical street to traffic. If anything, drivers had more trouble passing through the area than those on foot.
“All the space was taken by vendors,” said Walter Hook, the CEO of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. “It was a little bit like a war when they got rid of them.” As the administration of Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, a former police chief, cleared the area, authorities found caches of drugs and guns, said Hook. Different colored tarps announced which gangs protected each vendor. Only after removing the vendors could officials turn their attention to making Calle Regina car free."
Madero Street. Photo by Noah Kazis
On the Calle Francisco I. Madero, the challenge to pedestrianization was more traditional: the opposition of small businesses along the narrow street. Madero is “the most symbolic connection, maybe, in the country,” said Daniel Escotto, head of Mexico City’s Public Space Authority. On one end of the street is the Zócalo, the central square that has been the spiritual heart of the country from when it hosted the chief temple of Tenochtitlan through Spanish colonization to the political turmoil of today. On the other end is the city’s single busiest intersection, its fine arts museum, and its oldest park.
Despite enormous pedestrian volumes, Madero’s business owners, largely local shopkeepers, resisted all efforts to take away motor vehicle access, said Escotto. “Let me just have one day, with cones,” Escotto recalled asking the local chamber of commerce."
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