The proposal is intended to relieve traffic on the N-332 so the Government does not close two roads

Zapata y Scheurer 20ene14

Orihuela Town Hall has proposed an alternative solution to the traffic problems on the N-332 at La Zenia roundabout. The Government had suggested closing two roads – Calles Maestro Torralba and Alhambra – but met with fierce opposition from local businesses and residents,

The Councillors for Urban Planning, Antonio Zapata (Socialist) and Orihuela Costa, Martina Scheurer (Green) met with the provincial office of the Ministry for Development’s Roads Department on Friday (January 17th). They proposed alternatives to closing the roads as they believe this will only result in more traffic on the N-332.

Both councillors argued that the simplest solution would be to get rid of the toll booth on the AP-7 motorway at La Zenia.

“The motorway always has less vehicles because the drivers prefer to take another road without paying,” said Zapata, who was certain that the Ministry has the solution to Orihuela Costa’s traffic problems in its own hands.

Since Zenia Boulevard commercial centre opened in September 2012, traffic has multiplied in the area, reaching an average of 33,000 vehicles per day, revealed Zapata. He argued that therefore it should be the commercial centre that assumes the cost of any possible new road that may be constructed to decongest the traffic but for which land would have to be expropriated. The councillor insisted “it would not be fair for residents to have to pay for the needs of a commercial centre”, as it is this business that is “most interested” in resolving the traffic problems in La Zenia.

Solutions

The councillors proposed other measures, such as constructing a roundabout halfway along Avenidad de Villamartín in La Zenia, because it would save many vehicles going to the commercial centre from having to turn around at the roundabout on the N-332 and causing congestion. Martina Scheurer said this idea was passed to the Roads Department in November, and “they confirmed verbally that tests could be done”. She revealed that the Local Police have already planned and measured out this roundabout, which would only require one street lamp to be moved.

They also suggested getting rid of some of the parking spaces along these roads, as vehicles pulling out also cause traffic jams. Moreover, many cars double park to go to one of the businesses.

“It is the parking that causes accidents and traffic chaos, so we have proposed getting rid of 15-20 spaces,” added Zapata.