Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - After business owners on Morelos Street began placing signs on the windows or outside walls of their establishments that attribute the drop in sales to the closing of Diaz Ordaz (the Malecón) to vehicular traffic, the mayor spoke on the subject last week.
Merchants argue that they were forced to close their shops, as happened to Melissa Suneson, who, with the backing of the Unión de Propietarios de Fincas, (Farm Owners' Union) was the first to put up a sign saying her business was closed because of the Malecón closing.
Mayor Ramón Guerrero Martínez said that reopening the Malecón road depends on the support business owners could get from the state government.
On Morelos, one of the streets most affected by the economic crisis in the downtown area, an estimated 80 percent of the shops have closed due to the collapse in sales that has occurred in recent years, was where the first shop put up the sign saying that its closure was a direct result of making Diaz Ordaz a pedestrian promenade, but in the last week more than a dozen traders supported the initiative to reopen the road.
With legends reading: "Very nice, but no one comes", "No people, no sales", "the boardwalk closed and Morelos collapsed" they are all making the same demand: "Open the boardwalk to vehicular traffic." Shop owners are also starting to disseminate the message through social networks, and more and more of the businesses that have not yet closed are hanging signs, some asking "How many more businesses will close?", among the dozens of "For Rent" signs found on this street.
But its not just the tenants who are demanding the end of the pedestrian walkway referred to as "the Malecón," it is also the landlords, who are once again supporting the demand to allow the passage of vehicles along the Malecón.
According to the President of the Unión de Propietarios de Fincas Urbanas, Jesus Bernal Palacios, "the economic benefits that were expected from the renovation of the Malecón have not been attained" and, "conversely, economic activity in the downtown area is more depressed, especially on Morelos Street."
However, he stated that in order to reopen the street to motor vehicles certain issues must be considered; such as making sure that the road meets the safety standards of the existing streets that join the boardwalk, reinforcing the concrete, only opening the street to light vehicles, and limiting the maximum speed at which travel would be allowed.
Works to prevent accidents and other issues represent an investment of $120 million pesos, the Mayor said when questioned by reporters about the Morelos street shopkeepers' campaign. Reopening the Malecón would require state government support and funding, he added.Original article translated and edited by Lorena Sonrisas for BanderasNews.com.