Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Changes and Rumors

Things are getting lively here on the island. Whenever there is a change in government, especially when a different political party takes over, there are always lots of changes. This time is no different. For what it's worth.....

The Mayor has fired 15 police officers, allegedly for corruption and not working. I guess when she was a civilian, she had her share of experiences with no police help and seeing them just sleeping in their cars in the cliff side pullouts. Now she is in a position to do something about it and she is! She is hiring new officers. I did notice last weekend that our former garbage truck driver has now been promoted to a police officer. One has to wonder at the amount of training he has received, especially since he is allowed to carry a gun.
The Palacio Municipal, our courthouse, downtown on the square has received a new coat of paint. Blue and white are also the colors of the PAN party, of which the Mayor is a member.


Work on the new Malecon is almost completed. I will be doing a separate post on that later.

Cancun has given the island notice that we have only 90 days left to transfer our garbage there. We currently have a transfer station here and garbage is trucked to Cancun daily. I think this applies to everybody because the Cancun garbage site is too full. The local paper says they are trying to locate a new place to put the garbage.

There have been several severe crackdowns going on here lately by the police. They are:
  • checking for driver's licenses. They have set up roadblocks at random times all over the island and are stopping to check for licenses. Car for car, motorcycle for motorcycle. This applies to tourists also. Tourists should have a copy of their rental contract with them since their licenses are held at the rental office. There have been several motorscooter deaths in the past two weeks, all involving teenagers with no licenses.
  • enforcement of the one-way streets. Periodically, police officers are being posted on the most abused corners and turning people around who attempt to drive the wrong way. Man, I am all for this one. (now if they would just take that beer away from the driver!)
  • very strict enforcement of the pedestrian zone, Avenue Hidalgo. That is the main street downtown with all the bars, restaurants and vendors on it. They are not allowing anybody to park on this street. Most employees of these places park in front of or near the business where they work. If the owner of a scooter or golf cart can't be found, I have personally seen the police haul the vehicle away.

Finally, a biggie. Hidalgo is set to be torn up, from end to end, sometime in the middle of this month. Once the Malecon is totally done, they will be moving on to this project. They intend to dig up the street, bury all of the cable, phone and electrical lines and remove all utility poles. They plan on improving the drainage problem downtown at the same time. Then they will cover it up, resurface and set new street light poles. When they are done, NOTHING will be allowed on the street. No tables or chairs, no vendor booths, nothing. Only pedestrians. This is going to be devastating to local businesses and I just can't believe they are going to stand for it. It will seriously damage places like Don Chepo, Buccanero, Rolandi's and Amigos. All businesses that have more tables on the street than inside. Not to mention how crowded the vendors will be in their little shops. Personally, I think just keeping the traffic off the street will be enough. Leave the businesses alone.

The plan is for every street downtown to eventually be torn up and redone. The fear is that every Mayor has tried, but none have succeeded, in making the whole downtown area a pedestrian zone. But, of course, not providing for parking outside of town or even on the perimeter. It will be a mess if it really happens.

I'll keep you posted!

8 comments:

lisaloveloca said...

errr- I don't really get it!? I mean, why would they not want tables and racks and such on the street for the tourists to shop and dine and people watch? I LOVE to sit out side on a patio even if it's in a parking lot!!
I get that they want it to be a pedestrian area but what does that have to do with vendors and restaurants having services and such on the street???

And OMG! I didn't know about the garbage problem on Isla! Wow!

Islaholic Trixie said...

I sure hope this administration keeps up with the good work they are starting. Can't wait to see the malecon complete at the end of this month and the work started on Hidalgo!! Water drainage is such a big issue during rains. I've waded in knee deep water!! (Eewwwwww)

Babs said...

Lordy, they did that in San Miguel before I moed here, but was visiting here and it took forever - like almost 18 months! It was a MESS>>>>>>>>>>
BTW, did you get to look at that itinerary? Feedback por favor? Too much? Too structured? Etc.etc.etc.

CancunCanuck said...

Great post Wayne, I love that you keep up on the municipal politics. I think it would be very sad not to have any tables on the streets, it's definitely part of the charm of the area and it just may kill those businesses. Aside from that, it can get hotter than heck inside, it's nice to eat al fresco!

jamqueen said...

It will be interesting to see this play out. I'm all for keeping the traffic off Hidalgo, but agree it would be disaster for business to have to remove tables, etc from street.

Dustbowl said...

Wayne:

Police corruption MUST be addressed on the island or they can all go back to fishing for a living.

I bet the changes about no tables on Hidalgo won't be as severe as expected.

The scooter situation needs to be addressed also. This is a good change. It's tough to walk anywhere on the island without being accosted by a too-fast scooter trying to run you over on every corner. It gets old.

Most of the changes sound good to me. Business will prevail on the Hidalgo issues.

Now, can we address the wild dogs and trash problems in the Colonias? LOL

Hollito said...

Wayne,

over here in rainy Krautland we have the saying "Nothing is eaten as hot as it is cooked", and I think this describes what will happen with all the more or less good things the politics on the isla are planning. The result will - more or less - differ from the original plan.
Apart from this, the Mexican people are real masters in "getting around something", so I´m shure they will find ways to fight the changes they do not want.

Regarding that waste problem...well, MX is really not known for caring about this, and the few waste treatment plants in the country are a joke...I know about this, my job is planning and projecting waste treatment plants. ;-)

JoAnne in CT said...

I refuse to believe that they wouldn't allow tables on the street - pretty much every restaurant has them, and not many restaurants have room for as many inside as they have on the street. That would kill just about every business on Hidalgo, and tourism would certainly suffer if they do that.

Kelly's right - most of those restaurants are like an inferno inside. A couple of years ago it was raining while we ate inside at Angelo's - I thought I was going to pass out.

We'll just have to wait and see!

JoAnne in CT