All We Want for Christmas is a Sustainable Use Policy for the Centro Historico


On an encouraging note, there seems to have been a spark of interest lately in conserving Xela’s Centro Historico. Various committees are springing up and meeting regularly to talk about doing just that. We’ve even been semi-invited to vaguely participate in a couple. But of course that never happened.

But the great thing about writing for XelaWho is that you can say pretty much whatever crazy BS comes into your head and nobody pays much attention. So with that in mind, we unveil our Three Point Plan for Saving the Centro Historico:

1) Traffic. This is the big one. These narrow cobblestone streets just weren’t designed for the volume of traffic they get and there’s no way to widen them without evicting serious numbers of neighbors. Likewise, the classic buildings weren’t designed to withstand the vibrations and pollution caused by the constant stream of heavy traffic. What we need is a serious, integrated plan to divert traffic away from the center, coupled with some viable options for getting from one side of the city to the other without passing the downtown area. And then we need height restrictions. If I see another Gallo truck wedged underneath a classic bridge like the one on the cover, I may just run for mayor.

2) Pedestrianization. Once we get the cars out of the picture, this is the next step. There’s been a plan to pedestrianize the streets bordering the Central Park for years now, but without Step 1 this is going to cause some serious bottlenecks. Major cities worldwide are closing off downtown streets to motorized transport – imagine what the center of Xela would be like if it were more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

3) Regulation. It’s hard to believe we’re saying this, but somebody needs to take control of what goes on in the center. As a nightlife magazine, we’re happy that people aren’t holed up on the sofa watching TV every night, and we’re certainly not wowsers, teetotalers or anything like that, but you only have to pass through the Central Park on a Sunday morning and see the broken glass, graffiti and urine stains to know that something is very wrong here. Alcohol-free zones are becoming standard worldwide. Sad to say, but we need one in the Central Park.

So that’s our Christmas wish list for this year. We hope that yours comes true, at least.

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