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First meeting between the mayor and the neighborhood platform ‘No to the single lane’ of Benalmádena Costa

A group of representatives from the Citizen PlatformNo to the Single Lane of the Coast   have met with the mayor, Víctor Navas, several councilors and municipal technicians. The meeting took place, as reported from the citizen platform, in “a cordial tone, although the reality is that for us it was not fruitful as long as they made it clear to us that they think go ahead both with removing the  median of palm trees on Antonio Machado avenue, as well as with the lane reduction”.  

As explained to Ole Benalmádena, in the first instance they transferred to the mayor that “they are not just a Facebook group of more than 4,000 members, but they represent ordinary people who are immersed in long caravans of cars to go to and from work, to taxi drivers who have to charge double for a short distance ride due to traffic jams, to merchants, hoteliers and hoteliers who have to deal with complaints from their customers about the lack of fluidity of traffic in the area and neighbors of Torremolinos and Fuengirola, who are also suffering the consequences of this traffic black spot that the Benalmádena Coast has become due to the single lane ”. 

The municipal representatives, as commented from the neighborhood platform, “They explained to us through slides what they intend to do, but they told us nothing about the report that they prepared and that  it is not conclusive, nor did they answer us about the alternatives they have planned with regard to traffic in Benalmádena, such as the possibility of setting up alternative roads to decongest traffic jams in the area, or the possibility of undertaking improvements in the operation of public transport to make the reduction of one lane on the coast feasible ”. 

From the citizen platform they emphasize that “we are all in favor of the remodeling of Benalmádena Costa, which is absolutely necessary, but not with the removal of a lane from road traffic that the only thing that has been shown is that it produces problems of daily traffic jams,leaving users stuck in a mousetrap that also produces a security problembecause in the caravans you can see ambulances, police cars or firefighters ”. 

They also state that “the chaos in traffic caused by the pilot test, which is still ongoing, has also harmed pedestrians, which do not have safe pedestrian crossings because, to avoid delays, the City Council is forced to put the traffic lights in amber for long periods of the day, leaving pedestrians exposed and often forced to cross the street in areas not marked or between cars stopped by the traffic jam”. 

They assure that the City Council tells them that “habits must be changed for healthier ones and that similar projects have been carried out in other Spanish cities and have been successful.”  In the opinion of the representatives of the neighborhood platform, “if it has worked in other cities, it will be because the lane reduction has occurred after enabling alternatives for road traffic and improvements in public transport to make it more efficient and that it really is an alternative to be able to leave the car at home, but here in Benalmádena nothing has been done: only one lane has been removed and the reality is that the only thing we see daily are long caravans of cars in a continuous traffic jam ”. 

These neighbors contributed a dossier to the Mayor’s Office with their arguments against the reduction to this lane, alternatives to the project, photographs, actions carried out so far and eleven pages of comments made public by the users of the lane that is the subject of controversy.  

Although from the Consistory they have been summoned to a new meeting in about a month, the neighborhood platform understands that “we do not know what it is worth to meet because it is not that they are not going to take a step back, but that they do not even expose us to alternativesthat solve the traffic jams or they plan to study our proposals.” 

In relation to European funds from Edusi with which the project will be financed, from the platform they criticize that “if they are lost it will be because of the municipal managers they were achieved in 2019, no real projecthas yet been developed for Benalmádena Costa and now they intend to do whatever it takes in a hurry ”.

Thus, these neighbors do not rule out undertaking new mobilizations in the city, which, if held, would be the third public demonstration launched since last September against the single lane of Benalmádena Costa. 

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