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Last updateFri, 03 Jul 2020 9am

Letters To The Editor - March 22, 2020

Dear Sir,

Re: the Chapala/Ajijic Carretera cycle path.

I wish to record some of my criticisms regarding the worst designed municipal thoroughfare/bicycle pathway project I have seen in the 13 countries where I have managed multi-million dollar projects during my 50-year project management career.

My first criticism is what I call the “Blunder Blocks,” which are the irregular shaped, five-meter-long concrete blocks separating the street right of way from the bicycle path. I will not try to count the total number of these blocks, as many are still under construction or planned, but it appears there will be at least 500 of them. Therefore, each “block” will eliminate one potential parking space along the Chapala/Ajijic Carretera. The loss of 500 or more parking spaces is tragic.

In my opinion, the cycle path is too wide, especially in Chapala, where the Carretera has been reduced to a dangerously narrow width for large trucks and busses.

Another future problem the “Blunder Blocks” will cause is when a westbound vehicle has to stop due to a flat tire, empty gas tank, engine failure or accident. The line of blocks preventing vehicles from being moved off the street will inevitably cause traffic jams.

Also, the top elevation of the blocks is below the sight line of an average driver. This will probably result in numerous minor passenger vehicle scrapes and bent fenders.

In several locations, the positioning of the blocks has obstructed vehicle access to established businesses and parking areas, such as S & S Auto, Have Hammers will Travel and Century 21 Real Estate.

Rather than using these expensive and problematic blocks, a simple decorative metal wire fence at least one meter in height (high enough for the passenger car driver to see the fence top from the driver’s seat) would have been cheaper and occupied much less right-of-way width. It’s too late now, so drive carefully and try to avoid the “Blunder Blocks” as they are here to stay for many, many years.

Perry M. King, American Institute of Architects; fellow, Society of American Military Engineers