Editor’s note: This post was made prior to the announcement by the Ministro de la Presidencia, late in the day Friday, cancelling the planned additional vehicular restrictions of San Jose.
Starting on Monday, September 16, the vehicular restrictions of San José will be of four license plates, two with full restriction on one day, and two with partial restrictions the following day.
Come Monday, as has been for some time, vehicles with license plates ending in 1 & 2 are restricted from circulating in San José between 6am and 7pm; on Tuesdays plates ending in 3 & 4; Wednesdays 5 & 6, Thursdays 7 & 8; and Fridays 9 & 0.
New on Monday is the partial restrictions that will be in effect between 6am an 9am and 4pm and 7pm, on Mondays vehicles with plates ending in 9 & 0; Tuesdays 1 & 2; Wednesdays 3 & 4; Thursdays 5 & 6; and Fridays 8 & 9.
Transport officials say the partial restrictons will be in place while the Circunvalación remains closed and will be lifted when the road is re-opened to traffic, which is expected in about 2 months.
Opponents feel the additional restrictions will have a negative impact and create more traffic chaos.
Olman Vargas, head of the National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (LANAMME) at the Universidad de Costa Rica, says that the vehicular restrictions of San José do not work at all and has called for its suspension on numerous occasions.
Vargas explained during a live television interview at noon yesterday, that many drivers do not keep their cars at home during the restriction, rather they use routes outside the restricted area to move to and from their destinations.
An example is of a driver with vehicular restrictions using the Alajuelita road to Escazú and back. With the additional restriction, Olman says that there will be even more vehicles using the alternate like the Alajuelita road, a road that cannot even handle normal traffic conditions.
Vargas’ criticism of the restrictions is also due to the lack of a public transportation infrastructure, a bus system that gets stalled in the traffic chaos, forcing many to use their cars because of the lack of a viable public transportation alternative.
The Policia de Tránsito (traffic police) will be monitoring closely the additional vehicular restrictions and according to German Marin, director of that police force, particular attention will be on heavy vehicles.