The Ruta 32 – the road to Limón – between Tibás and La Republica has been a pain for drivers, who daily had to face congestion and delays for the longest time, worsened recently with the never ending resurfacing work.
Many had expected, or at least hoped, that bus bays would be part of the improvements on this part of the busy road. However, the result is just a letter from the Laboratorio Nacional de Materiales y Modelos Estructurales (Lanamme) to the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad (Conavi) – national road council – to correct the situation.
According to Lanamme president, Guillermo Loria, the continuing situation of buses stopping in the right lane to let off and take on passengers, is a serious safety concern.
Though the maximum speed on this section of the road is 60 km/h, some drive it as a highway, only to find a bus stopped ahead. Add to the situation the lack of proper lighting at night.
The director of Conservación Vial (Road Maintenance) at the Conavi, Cristian Vargas, explained that the bus bays would require a new contract.
Rationalizing the situation, Vargas accepts that the situation is a safety concern, but this is a problem on almost every road in Costa Rica.
The lack of bus bays are common on the autopista General Cañas; the Bernardo Soto; the Florencio del Castillo (San José – Cartago); and even the Ruta 27 (San José – Caldera)- the road in the planning and building process for more than 30 years; Costa Rica’s busiest roads.
On these roads where maximum speeds are up to 90 km/h, buses make stops in the right lanes, with the only warning a sign reducing the speed to 60 km/h. On many other roads, the bus stops are not even marked, only bus drivers and users of the bus knowing the stop, leaving drivers to brake hard or swerve to avoid an accident.