Permission for bars in Palma to use parking spaces as terraces has been extended until the end of September. While this is welcome news for the bars, the measure is less welcome for residents.
Town hall spokesperson Alberto Jarabo says that these temporary terraces have been the salvation for many businesses. "There have been almost 1,300 terraces that didn't exist before. They have allowed some 5,000 people to keep their jobs." He accepts that residents have had to look elsewhere to park, but adds that "they have told us that they understand the measure". He appreciates the "sacrifice" made by residents, noting there have been some "excesses" by bars; 190 licences have been withdrawn.
Rodrigo Romero, councillor for economic promotion and employment, agrees with Jarabo that the terraces have been a salvation. He acknowledges that anything which occupies space in this way will generate some conflict with residents. This has been the case in Santa Catalina, where there is a shortage of parking. Many of the licences which have been withdrawn have been in Santa Catalina.
The president of the CAEB restaurants association, Alfonso Robledo, says that the terraces will be removed when "normality" is reached. "Residents are right to complain about the lack of parking, but in September we will return to normality." The Federation of Residents Associations is meanwhile warning that conflict will intensify in June. "There will be massive numbers of tourists again, and it will be even more difficult to park."
One bar owner, Miguel Ferruche, whose RD9 bar is on Carrer Rubén Darío, says that using parking spaces has helped him to survive but that it has been a "battle" with the residents. He has sometimes wanted to remove the temporary terrace. "There are four establishments on the street with terraces that take up twenty parking spaces. Some residents are getting sick of it. But it has been a lifesaver for the hospitality industry."