Some bars and restaurants in Palma traditionally close for holidays in August. This summer is no different. However, among these bars are ones which have established temporary terraces on parking spaces. As a result, residents, who have in any event become increasingly annoyed by this measure, are not happy; that's because the terraces haven't been removed.
Maribel Alcázar, the president of one of the city's residents associations, says that the situation is "absurd". Whether with planters or pallets, some bars have closed for up to a month but have maintained the terraces and therefore deprived residents of badly needed parking spaces. It is pointed out that some parking spaces would normally have to be paid for, yet bar owners are using them "free of charge".
Marcos Cañabate, the director general of internal government at the town hall, says that the decree which allows the temporary terraces "clearly states that if there is an absence of activity for more than three days, the terrace has to be removed".
"We understand that there are complications with dismantling some terraces. But bars must understand that parking spaces cannot be occupied while they are closed for holidays." He adds, however, that he has not received any complaints.
The temporary terraces will no longer be permitted after September 30. Cañabate stresses that "there will be no extension". "This is the decree and the bar and restaurant owners know it." Employers associations agree, he notes, as "they consider that prolonging this measure could affect the price of commercial rents".
Residents understood and accepted the measure when it was introduced in order to provide more space in complying with Covid regulations (or indeed to provide any terrace space). But over the months they have becomes less understanding. Cañabate estimates that each bar or restaurant occupies an average of two parking spaces. On this basis, "2,200 drivers will find it easier to park after September".