Thursday, 3 December 2020

Costa Rica and Panama Run Counter to Rest of the World

Typical morning traffic on the autopista General Cañas, San José boundd
Typical morning traffic San José bound on the autopista General Cañas. Photo taken at 6:29am Tuesday, January 20, 2015, east of the Plaza Cariari.  Photo: QCostarica

QCOSTARICA – Free parking in Panama and heavy trains running through the streets of the capital of Costa Rica, are examples of some of the strange decisions taken by their governments.

While the rest of the world discourages the use of private cars as a means of transportation, increasing the costs of their use by setting, among other methods, high costs for parking in urban areas, in Panama, whose capital city suffers like any other city from the growing problems of congestion on the roads, the National Assembly recently passed a law that mandates free parking in “commercial parking lots of any kind or public offices where purchases are made, goods acquired or any services received. ”

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Added to this nonsensical rule, is another recently approved law which prevents below ground space in public parks from being used for the construction of parking lots, as is typical in modern cities.

Beyond the attack on the rights of private property and free trade which this law represents, it is clear how the safety of investments in all types of development are compromised, where the cost of designated parking spaces and the income anticipated from their use are an important part of the calculation of return on investment.

Meanwhile, in Costa Rica, the government encourages the reuse of old railroad paths which once connected the capital with the Pacific and Caribbean, to make them run passenger trains between different districts of the metropolitan area, which also suffers from severe congestion in traffic due to lack of modernized road infrastructure and steady growth of the number of cars.


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