09-07-2015J. TORRES

Café terraces along the Paseo Born in Palma may become a thing of the past. The new administration at the city council plans to eliminate them from February next year. The deputy mayor for public services, Aurora Jhardi (Som Palma, aka Podemos), says that the council has a “firm commitment that the Born should return to being for the people of Palma next summer. This implies that there should not be terraces”. In this regard, the anticipation is that the Book Fair will return to the Born as well as other cultural activities and the freedom for people to be able to stroll.
Jhardi says that the terraces along the Born were a four-year pilot project, which ends in February. Once the project is completed, a report will be submitted in order to assess actions that should be taken, but the intention is that the Born will be free of terraces. As for the terraces along La Rambla, she says that the situation there is less contentious than along the Born, although there is a need to study it.
In the rest of the city, the council is working on a general project to avoid there being a “saturation” of terraces. At present, there are 1,335 licensed terraces. The objective is to look at how much space has been occupied and if there are areas where terraces are prejudicial to the free movement of pedestrians or cause accessibility problems.  Away from the centre, there aren’t typically problems caused by a concentration of terraces, but in certain areas, such as Santa Catalina, there has been a meeting with residents to consider issues there. If there are urgent cases that need addressing, they will be done so via a decree, as establishing ordinance for the whole city requires more time.
Jhardi says that there will not be a reduction in terraces this summer in order to avoid any possible loss of jobs, but the council will be applying firmer noise controls. Summing up, she states that the council is not against the terraces, simply that it wants to enable people to be able to walk without obstacles that exist at present.
Responding to the change, the Majorcan small to medium-sized businesses association, Pimeco, has expressed its concerns and urged Jhardi to continue with the existing situation, stressing the need for there to be a balance which harms neither economic activity nor people’s rights to enjoy public areas.

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