The project to change the direction of traffic in Nicoya, which initiated in 2010, is now in advanced stages. These changes would make entering and leaving the downtown area of the city by vehicle easier.
The engineering department of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), which is in charge of the initiative, is working on the final presentation of the written document as well as the final plans of the new route.
The largest change would be to 3rd Street, also called República de México, which traverses the center of the city and includes the stretch between 4th and 9th Avenues. The direction of one-way traffic would change to flow from south to north (from Samara toward the hospital).
According to Jose Miguel Calvo, official of MOPT’s regional department of engineering, the objective of changing the direction of traffic is to speed up traffic flow as well as facilitate access for emergency vehicles like ambulances, fire trucks and police patrol vehicles.
Currently the route taken by an ambulance that enters from Samara to arrive at La Anexion hospital passes in front of the entrance to the municipal bus terminal and advances 100 meters toward the north before deviating another 100 meters east to the right and later advancing 100 meters more to the east along 4th Avenue. Then they have to turn left taking 5th Street and advance another 300 meters toward the north and turn left 100 meters toward the west and finally advance 300 meters to the north on 3rd Street.
In total, the current route is 800 meters long and on the way there are at least two stop signs, which increase the duration for the unit to arrive at the medical center.
With the new change to the direction of one-way streets, an ambulance would only have to continue en route along 3rd Street. In total the route is 600 linear meters toward the north without stop signs.
In addition, a traffic light would be installed in the northeast corner of the colonial church at the intersection of Central Avenue and 1st Street.
Erick Jimenez, subchief of the Transit Police in Nicoya, commented that once the project is presented to the Municipal Council and has been approved, they can start implementing the changes.
Jimenez explained that when this plan is put into action, more yellow zones will be marked to prevent people from parking their vehicles in places where traffic is more constant, and thereby avoiding reducing the roadway and preventing traffic jams.
For his part, Marcos Jimenez, municipal mayor, thinks the change in the streets and avenues will give a new orderliness to the city roadways and that both the creation of yellow zones and the compliance of drivers will reduce jams.
Upon consulting the mayor about municipal stimulation of the creation of private vehicle parking lots, he explained that neither the culture nor the free space exists in the city to build marking lots.
Calvo indicated that the route is not definitive, so the project is subject to changes in the new route.
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