Dozens of cyclists gathered Sunday, March 11 to take a spin along the new stretch of the ciclovía (bike path) bordering the Ajijic highway, created as a part of the urban improvement project carried out by the Chapala government over the past six months.
The work spans four blocks between the north-south cross streets Javier Mina and Juárez.
Other elements encompassed in the project include the replacement of sewage and water pipelines, construction of new sidewalks on both sides of the roadway, installation of new street light fixtures, olive tree plantings, resurfacing of the parking lane on the south side, and fresh coats of paint for many building exteriors. New markings for traffic lanes and pedestrian crosswalks were added, along with green reflectors and flexible poles that define the ciclovía segment.
Parking is now prohibited on the north side of the highway except in several off-road lots located outside some businesses. Parked vehicles found invading the bike path may be subject to towing, authorities warn.
Municipal traffic police officers are being posted at most intersections to guide motorists during peak hours both on weekdays and weekends.
Renovation work was started back in early September 2017 with Mayor Javier Degollado’s promising completion by November 20. He attributes the nearly four-month delay to unexpected complications in fixing the underground infrastructure and bad weather in the early weeks of the labor.
The project sought to facilitate non-motorized transit and spruce up the appearance of the central highway to help Ajijic’s bid for inclusion in the Pueblo Mágico program.
The cost of the work totaled close to five million pesos, covered principally through Jalisco’s Regional Development Fund (Fondereg) and the federal program FISE to improve social infrastructure.
Degollado announced that a second phase of the project will involve extending the cycling path to the west from Juárez to Alvaro Obregón. This will complete the link running all the way to Jocotepec, as well as upgrade the outskirts of Chapala proper. He reported that efforts to line up the necessary budget earmarks are currently underway.
The ciclovía is an important daily thoroughfare for many lakeside workers and a popular route for sports and recreational cyclists.