Informal trade and parking reduce space on sidewalks

Many San Agustín del Norte residents have deplored that, at least since 2016, these mechanical workshops have been using sidewalk spaces to work with cars and motorcycles in repair, making it difficult for pedestrians to pass. Mostly residential area, where a large number of elderly people live.

Caracas. sidewalks Saint Augustine of the North, a parish in the municipality of Libertador in Caracas, appears to be filled with rubber bands that are placed one on top of the other and form high towers in the middle of public roads. The concrete appears black due to the amount of mechanical work they have done at these pedestrian crossings in recent years.

San Agustín del Norte is a place full of large old-style houses with tall windows, doors and wooden facades painted in different colours. This parish is part of the center of Caracas, in addition to being a residential area, there are also large buildings such as towers Central Park, Teresa Carino Theater and New Caracas Circusyes

Photo: Ivana Laura

Pedro Escanio*, 67 and the same number of years living in the northern part of San Agustin Parish, said that Over time, many of these homes have turned into mechanical workshops. This is a very profitable business in the area, and many of its customers are police officers, so they usually have the patronage of the authorities.

Many residents of the area have denounced the existence of these mechanical workshops since at least 2016 They used to use public places to work with cars and motorcycles under repairThis makes it difficult for pedestrians to pass through this residential area in which a large number of elderly people live.

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sidewalks
Photo: Courtesy Neighbors of the Area

Recently, motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic, neighbors have also noticed Street food vendors and barbershops roaming the sidewalks. Many of the owners of these companies are residents of the area who have set up their businesses in front of their homes.

For a large part of the population of San Agustin del Norte They have to breathe gases emitted from the use of fuel in mechanical work. These smells enter through the windows of homes Monday through Saturday, the days these buildings operate. This is what happens in the house of Luisa Fernandez*. At the beginning of the year, she and her father made the decision to go to Control Urbano headquarters.

Not only do they show off their tires, they take the trails to do the mechanics. Often they use close object interfaces to workFernandez, a resident of the community commented.

The Department of Urban Areas is the directorate of the Mayor’s Office in Libertador responsible for the planning, control, and rescue of public spaces within the municipality. Officials from this direction explained to Fernandez and his father that they must fill out the form for environmental damage, and bring photos and a map of the damaged points.

After the complaint was formalized, Control Urbano summoned and met those responsible for these companies. They were not only warned that they could not walk on public roadsAnd Because it generates environmental pollution, noise pollution and contrary to municipal laws. But on the same day, after the summons, everything remained the same, and the only thing they cared about was not to use the spaces of the other houses.Fernandez commented.

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sidewalks
Photo: Ivana Laura
On January 23, the same thing happened

La Cañada is a steep street that starts in front of the Agua Salud metro station and ends at the bottle of Building No. 7, one of the emblematic buildings of the diocese of 23 de Enero in the municipality of Libertador. this street today Lights full of parked cars, many of which are old vehicles that have been turned into scrapmostly about the mechanical workshops that work there.

Pedestrians must walk on public roads. It’s been this way for years and no one sets the system, no one tells them anything, That’s why stop trucking here. This is the lack of government, state and municipal councils that don’t care about thatvia Marines, residents of the parish.

sidewalks
Photo: Ivana Laura

For at least a year and a half, Los Rapidos del 23 . transport route units They stop traveling through La Cañada, because of the number of cars parked on the sidewalks on both sides of the road.And for mechanical work around the street. The collision of a transport unit with one of the motorbikes that was in one of the workshops led the drivers to decide to change lanes.

One of the comrades touched a motorcycle without blemish. The owner of the motorcycle became very aggressive. Almost nothing happened to the motorcycle, and the carrier wanted to bear the expense, but this guy was very aggressive and when the driver got into the truck and started it, they broke one of the truck windows.said Carlos Marcano, Los Rapidos del 23 line manager.

This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened, Marcano said. Accidents of this kind have also occurred at improvised kiosks installed on sidewalks and on the sides of public roads.

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If you touch one of these kiosks, you will have a problem, added Marcano, who also commented that drivers’ requests to resume the route through La Cañada are made through the commuting and transportation schedule of the Libertador Mayor’s Office. However, there is no final solution yet.

sidewalks
Photo: Ivana Laura

The decree On footpaths, issued by City Council of CaracasArticle 20, which has been in force since 1983, punishes improper parking of vehicles on sidewalks. This same decree regulates, in its Article 14, that each building should have only one kiosk, and that the installation of these buildings should be authorized by the mayor’s office.

The installation of such kiosks has also become commonplace. A shoe store that has been operating since the end of 2021 on the left sidewalk of the road. Pedestrians walking there should do so in places where cars are going because this place is concrete. Such is the case with warehouses and food stores that set up dinner tables on public roads. And when the stalls are not the cars parked on the sidewalk.

We have to walk on the side of the road because cars here take the sidewalks tooAdded Nelly Mendoza, who doesn’t live in the area, but walks through La Canada every day to get to work.

Photo: Ivana Laura
* Fake neighbors’ names due to security procedures and interview requests.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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