SANTO DOMINGO – The councilor of the National District, Mario Sosa affirmed today the urgent need for greater investment by the central government in the construction, expansion and maintenance of sidewalks in Santo Domingo.
This, due to the poor condition in which they are found and as part of the concrete actions to promote mobility that prioritizes the movement of people and not cars.
The municipal official assured that the sidewalks should be assumed as a priority project of the Central Government and that, however, they are not.
“Everything looks like we will reach the end of this management period with a Santo Domingo that will have practically the same sidewalks that we have today. This is a situation that should alarm those of us who live in Santo Domingo, a city whose mobility systems collapsed a long time ago ”, he asserted in his opinion article entitled Santo Domingo Sin Aceras.
He pointed out that thanks to the work carried out by the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPyD), which recently published the Multiannual Public Investment Plan 2021-2024, it is known that the reform of the transport sector is one of the main priorities of the president’s government Luis Abinader, with a projected investment of RD $ 153 billion over the next three years.
Recognizing that these investment projections include significant and far-reaching improvements to the public transport system of Santo Domingo and Santiago, the councilor regretted that this management would be spending resources and time in solving the parking of cars and in building more overpasses, but not walking. of people.
As stated by Sosa, the construction and maintenance of the sidewalks are and have been the responsibility of the country’s municipalities.
However, unlike most of the countries in the region, the Dominican State has been designed to concentrate available resources for public investment in the central government, which, in his opinion, makes it impossible for the mayors to provide satisfactory answers to the problems. structures that require substantial investment, as in the case of pedestrian infrastructure.
“To give you an idea of the magnitude of the problem, from the Citizen’s Office team we estimate that the investment necessary to have quality sidewalks in the National District amounts to RD $ 3,218 million pesos,” said the official.
Faced with this need, Mario proposes that 1% of the investment planned for the transportation sector, that is, RD $ 1,500 million, be used for a public investment project on sidewalks, an unprecedented project in the city.
Likewise, he pointed out that the annual budget executed in works by the Mayor’s Office of the National District has averaged an amount of RD $ 124 million in the last three years and that this amount has had to be distributed not only for sidewalks and containers, but also for construction , remodeling and repair of parks, squares, community sports facilities, funeral homes, cultural facilities, libraries, monuments, municipal buildings, markets, storm drainage and scuppers and public lighting.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned by the also activist and champion of sustainable mobility, he specified that the Mayor’s Office of the National District is not with its arms crossed in the face of this reality and that in recent months the renovation of sidewalks in different sectors of the city, jobs that have an approximate investment of RD $ 30 million, an important figure for the council’s budget, but which in his opinion insignificant given the magnitude of the problem.
In addition, he affirmed that there is a regulatory framework to carry out this transformation and that at the beginning of the year the Council of Aldermen of the National District approved Ordinance No. 01-2021 that establishes the general framework for the design, remodeling and construction of the District’s sidewalks. National.
This ordinance, formulated and promoted by the mayor’s office, he said is perhaps the piece of legislation approved in this period of government with the greatest potential to transform the city.
Finally, the councilor reiterated the need for wide sidewalks and that as the ordinance indicates, “sidewalks are the most democratic component of the city’s road network,” especially for the 63% of the population of Greater Santo Domingo who do not use a vehicle. own as a mode of transportation.
“Until Santo Domingo can walk safely and comfortably, people who can buy it will opt for the car and the vehicle park (and the cap) will continue to grow every year,” he emphasized.