A proposal from the ICODER – Instituto Costarricense del Deporte y la Recreación – aims to enclose the entire La Sabana Metropolitan Park so that the entrance of pedestrians and vehicles is controlled.
The fencing surrounding the four sides of the park would be similar to that of the Estadio Nacional (National Stadium), with six pedestrian accesses, most of them along the Ruta 27, with vehicular access on the flip side, the boulevard.
According to the estimates of the institution, the project to erect 2,800 meters (2.8 kilometers) of linear fencing would cost ¢350 million colones (US$604,000 dollars).
The ICODER explains that the fencing will be cheaper than having 52 private officers patrolling every square meter of the park in three shifts, that would cost ¢135 million a month. However, with the fencing, only 10 officers would be needed in the night and early morning shift.
What is behind such a radical proposal to enclose the park that is often referred to as the “heart of San Jose”, a park accessible to all?
The ICODER says it is to preserve the investment made in the park.
To do complete its proposal, legislators would have to modify Article 1 of the La Sabana Protection Law (Ley de protección a La Sabana), which prohibits closing the space with screens, fences or other means that prevent the general public from using the property, for sports and recreation.
Sports Minister, Hernan Solano, supports the ICODER proposal, saying the agency does not have the resources to maintain and properly protect the park.
However, legislator Pablo Abarca, who is not in favor of closing of the park says “it is like that of building a wall proposed by (US President Donald) Trump.”
A survey of users tell the Telenoticias television cameras they doesn’t see closing off the Sabana park as positive.