Residents in the Santa Eulàlia Acire area are strongly opposed to Palma City Council’s plans to pedestrianise Carrer dels Fideus, Carrer de les Minyones and Carrer del Pes del Formatge and have filed a writ requesting a meeting to discuss the issue.
The pedestrianisation plans will be approved in the March plenary session, if the objections can be resolved by then, according to Mobilitat Councillor Francesc Dalmau.
“We already have reduced mobility and fewer parking spaces so that tourist shops can open and terraces can be expanded, which benefits their interests, but there’s no understanding of how it affects our everyday lives,” the writ states. "Now they the number of pedestrian streets is being increased, further reducing parking spaces, making it even more difficult to use the streets and enjoy our homes, with no alternative plan that takes our parking and mobility needs into account.”
They also stress that “the lack of parking spaces and mobility makes daily life much more difficult for the elderly, children, people with mobility difficulties and workers.”
The residents claim that “the exaggerated opening of Tourist shops and Hotels in recent years” has had a terrible effect on their lives and they don't want more pedestrianisation saying "the expansion of bar and restaurant terraces in the area is behind it.” They have also accused some restaurateurs of "collecting signatures from customers and passersby who don't even live in the neighbourhood."
"Our need to have a liveable neighbourhood is not being heard or addressed, it can’t just be for tourists and restaurateurs, it’s like living in a theme park,” they added, but clarified, "we are not talking about the small business in the area, which we want and take care of."
“It’s sad that people believe that those of us who live in the historic Old Town are rich, it’s just not true, there are workers here the same as anywhere else and we need a liveable neighbourhood,” they stressed. “Motorbikes are allowed to enter without an Acire card and without paying anything, which leaves even fewer parking spaces for neighbours." They are calling for Acire regulations to be introduced for motorbikes.
"The abuse of entry by vehicles that are loading and unloading aggravates an already precarious situation to our detriment, whereas there’s little tolerance or flexibility for violations for our vehicles. We are being penalised for living in our own neighbourhood,” they said.
“Palma City Council's solution is to offer us parking half a kilometre of away, but we want to park beside our homes and be able to unload easily." they said. "Little by little they are expelling us from the neighbourhood and we feel helpless."
They are demanding at least two parking spaces for cars in Carrer dels Fideus “with the option of being able to load and unload.”
If the pedestrianisation of these streets is approved the motorbike parking spaces will disappear, so Palma City Council is “considering expanding parking areas specifically for motorbikes, which will be the most affected vehicles in the vicinity,” but no specific locations have been confirmed as yet.