Businesses and residents in Palma's Sant Jaume area are drumming up opposition to the creation of an Acire restricted access zone for the Carrer Bonaire. They believe that this will seriously harm business and day-to-day life.
A group of businesspeople met Palma's councillor for mobility, Francesc Dalmau, on Tuesday. He sought to explain the benefits of a measure that will affect various streets and not just Bonaire, e.g. Santa Maria del Sepulcro and Jaume Duran, which until now have been ORA pay-for-parking zones and from next month are due to be restricted access.
They were not convinced and regretted the fact that the decision had already been made and that they had to find out about it through the press. There has been hardly any information.
But they are not giving up. Posters have been put up expressing their rejection of the closure of the streets to traffic. A petition against the decision has been raised, and formal submissions challenging the change to traffic arrangements are to be presented to the town hall. Not everyone is opposed, but this is because - as the representatives say - "they don't know what Acire implies".
Following the tough months of the pandemic during which they have lost a great deal of custom, the retail businesses stress that they cannot afford to lose a single customer. But this will happen because access will be more difficult. Rather than helping them, "the town hall treads on us some more".
They want the town hall to come up with a more flexible solution, such as letting traffic circulate at certain times. Even making Bonaire pedestrianised would be preferable, as Acire will mean "death". Residents who are currently unaware of the implications will be and and will react when retailers leave and the area becomes like Santa Catalina with its bars.
The town hall, they state, "sold us consensus and dialogue". They see a very different Palma to the one that the town hall is presenting. The administration "thinks we are like Berlin or Paris, but this is Palma". They also suspect that there is some "malice" in that the measure is to be implemented in summer.