Aug 4, 2013

The Boquete Highway: Progress Panacea or Pedestrian Peril?

Set out this afternoon to snap photos of what I thought would be a very positive post on the status of the David-Boquete four lane highway.   The pedestrian overpass by the CEFATI building is almost finished, and there are pretty little blue-roofed bus stops sprouting up all along the route.  There's even a small island  near the entrance that has been filled with green grass and bright flowers to perk up the parkway.  
My mistake was setting out on foot to take the photos.  But it it was only a short walk and I didn't want the encumbrance of parking a car. The experience was quite enlightening.  It's astounding what's absent from the overall plan... 
With a huge car-less segment of local population, you'd expect a highway project of this magnitude to include the means for pedestrian access across the thoroughfare to public transportation  points along the route. With only a short while until the politicos stage some kind of official highway inauguration,  there has been abysmally little accomplished on behalf of pedestrians.  

One crosswalk is painted on the roadway some distance ahead of the bus stop shown below.  But it ends at the decorative center island, just ahead of a sign telling people NOT to walk on the grass.  The nearest roadway intersection is about 20 feet away, and there are no crosswalk markings where people are actually able to cross the road. Words can't begin to express the conundrum the pedestrian encounters trying to get from point A to B now that the 4-lane road is in place.  Perhaps these photos will help illustrate it.  You're literally taking your life in your hands trying to cross the road.

Crosswalk to center island where stepping on grass is prohibited, leading to nowhere. 


Hopefully the grave oversights will be addressed before serious pedestrian injuries or even deaths result.  As for me, I'll just keep driving....