San Luis Potosí joins the cities that decided to replace the obsolete and misnamed “pedestrian bridges” with safe level crossings, which reduce the effort of pedestrians, encourage walking and are inclusive of all people.
The director of Mobility of the San Luis Potosí city council, Mirell Betanzo, announced the removal of the anti-pedestrian bridge located on Reforma avenue, in the historic center of the capital of Potosí, after a long public deliberation on the advantages of removing it.
In the last five years at least two dozen of these old structures, designed for the comfort of motorists, have been removed in cities such as Culiacán, Guadalajara, Morelia, Puebla, Sahuayo, Zapopan and Mexico City, as a result of a campaign that began by the Pedestrian League (see here).
These bridges encourage high speeds and are built in such absurd places as in front of hospitals, which forces patients in wheelchairs, crutches, splints, older adults, pregnant women, people who carry minors or have to carry packages , to make an extra effort to cross.
In a safe crossing, drivers of vehicles only have to press the brake to allow the passage of pedestrians and these avoid routes of up to a hundred extra meters, when the average avenues with bridges are between 12 and 15 meters in level.
In San Luis, Betanzo argued that they seek to give accessibility to adults: “With bridges there is no universal accessibility, it had always been said that pedestrian bridges provided safety to people, but not really, pedestrian bridges what they do is to segregate the city, since a person has to make a journey five times more when he can do it at street level ”.
In Culiacán they used the removed bridges as bridges to cross rivers in rural areas.
But the best thing about these retreats is that they allow cities to start a reflection on who are the beneficiaries of urban infrastructure and for whom are cities built. Until now its design had been with a car in the head, fortunately now that has changed.