Scarce half an hour is the duration of the extraordinary plenary session held this morning in which the green light was given, with the votes against the opposition en bloc, to continue with the future remodeling works of road traffic in the coast, consisting of the elimination of a traffic lane, the inclusion of a new one for bicycles and non-polluting vehicles, as well as the elimination of the median of some 300 palm trees on Avenida Antonio Machado.
Some neighbors, -common users of the single lane of the coast and the continuous traffic jams-, approached the City Council with the intention of attending the Plenary session whose call, as they showed to this medium, was open to the publicwith the mandatory use of a mask . However, the neighbors, approximately a dozen, found the State security forces at the doors of the town hall and the impossibility of accessing the plenary session. In the words of those affected, “we feel humiliated because they even warned us that if we were more than twenty we could even be fined with exorbitant amounts of money and all we want is to attend the plenary session.”
Apart from this controversy, in the plenary room A credit supplement was approved for an amount of 30,952,617.67 euros, of which a total of 7,750,000 euros will go to the Antonio Machado avenue project, which has been awakening the tension of neighbors – united through a citizen platform with more than 4,000 members – and opposition political parties.
Specifically, the City Council will spend 500.000 euros in the drafting of the project of the work, 250,000 euros in the vehicle lane avenida del Sol, 600,000 euros in actions in the median of the old N340 (Sunset Beach-Solymar), 400,000 in the extension of the promenadebetween the roundabout Los Maites and Castillo Bil-Bil, 6,000,000 euros in the remodeling of Avenida Antonio Machado (removal of one lane).
Regarding investments in this area of Benalmádena, the mayor, Víctor Navas, has assured that “we have been working for years on projects and the new urban design for the Benalmádena coastline, which deserves a new remodeling and enhancement, in accordance with the objectives of sustainable mobility and reduction of polluting gas emissions demanded by the European Union, as all the big European cities are already doing ”.
Navas stressed that “for 30 years, hardly any far-reaching investments have been made in Benalmádena Costa, a situation that we are now trying to reverse with this credit supplement, of which 30 million about 7 million correspond to financing reserves for actions on the coast. which would be added to the 10 million of the Sustainable Urban Development Strategy (EDUSI) ”. The intention of the local government is that “in the next year and a half or two years we can put out to tender these projects for their contracting and execution in the most agile way possible.”
Nevertheless, the councilor of the PP, Juan Antonio Lara, -who from the beginning of the conflict showed the rejection of his party to the elimination of the median of palm trees and to the single lane “because there has not been the opinion of the neighbors who have been saying for months that they do not agree with these two actions ”, – is not so convinced that the dates set on the table by the local government are met. In fact, as the popular explained to this medium, “in October or November last year was approvedin plenary session a remainder of 24 million euros for different investments in the city and to date they have not invested in any improvementand it has returned to revert to the municipal coffers “.
At the same time, Lara highlighted that “the work of Antonio Machado in the end will cost more than 20 million”, taking into account the figure approved this morning, the 10 million that could come from European funds and the 2.5 million corresponding to the percentage that the Consistory should invest in the event that it receives the approval of the Edusi. The popular warned that the Edusi approves the subsidies once the works are completed and “the deadline that the City Council has to carry out the works is December 31, 2023.“
The opposition is united against the rejection of the single lane on the coast because, as they highlight, “in addition to the fact that citizens have shown their rejection of the project due to traffic problems and continuous traffic jams, it is incomprehensible how the Government team widens lanes in the ascent or descent to Benalmádena Pueblo and it removes them where more traffic is registered in the whole city ”, in reference to the old N-340.
For his part, themayor assures in a press release that “the projects included in this credit supplement arise from actively listening to the needs of citizens, hoteliers and merchants, who also agreed on the need for a significant investment for Benalmádena Costa” .
Navas insists that “our source of income and wealth comes from tourism, an activity that is mainly concentrated in Benalmádena Costa, whose renewal and revitalization has been a commitment of this government team to citizens since 2015.”
Both the neighborhood platform such as the opposition have stressed that “we agree with the revitalization of Benalmádena Costa but not with the suppression of a lane that is only causing daily caravans for kilometers, nor with the elimination of the median of palm trees”and insist that a debate be opened on other alternatives and that the citizen assembly and the Steering Committee be convened so that the Plenary and all citizens are informed of the management of the Edusi funds in Benalmádena.
Other approved investments
On the other hand, among the investments, according to municipal sources, more “imminent” that this new credit supplement will allow is the investment of 1,000,000 euros in the steel plan, another million euros for the expansion and improvement of the Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmádena Pueblo cemeteries, 200,000 euros for the renovation of the lawn in the Retamar field, 1,400,000 euros in the Al-Baytar park, 200,000 euros for the tree plan, 200,000 euros for improvements in the La Paloma park , 1.5 million euros in the remodeling of El Gamonal avenue, another 1,200,000 euros for asphalting, 300,000 in the remodeling of the Tourist Office located on Antonio Machado avenue or 300,000 euros in the rehabilitation of Jardines del Muro, among other.
The mayor stated that “we can face this great public investment, the most important in recent decades, because we have achieved that this City Council has savings after eliminating the debt of 124 million euros that dragged the municipal coffers during the last legislature.” The PP, for its part, understands that the savings in the municipal coffers are the result of the management of the former popular government and that “in these four years, the PSOE has not invested in the city nor 50 percent of what it had planned for different improvement projects for Benalmádena ”.