Thursday, June 25, 2009

Corners and Taxis

The historical district of El Centro encompasses 69 blocks. There are no stop signs, no yield signs, no crosswalks painted on the cobble stones. People walk everywhere; if they are not walking they are in a taxi or on the bus. (Oh, and for the tourists there is a street car that makes an hourly tour circuit around town). The main streets are VERY busy.

So, how does the traffic flow with no stop signs? And how do pedestrians get across the street?
First in line for polite are the taxis drivers, they will always yield to people on the street. Next are the bus drivers. The buses are BIG, they take up the WHOLE street, but will always yield to pedestrians. And often, people are not crossing at a corner! Add a couple kids, a baby, and an abuela and the whole scene comes to stand still while the family crosses the street!

A picture from a roof top would be perfect to catch the traffic during the busy times. These were NOT at busy times, but do show typical intersections. See street name and direction arrow on side of buildings.

Adding some people to the mix.

This taxi is turning onto a two way street. Some 'T' intersections have traffic cops.

By the way, taxis are everywhere. It costs 20 pecos to ride anywhere in the city, no meters, no tips, just 20 pecos.

This is a busy two way street with a plaza on one side. No worries for the taxi who is passing between the walkers and the autobus. That's the *best* ice cream stand under the tree, there's often a long line of people on the side walk and cars stop at the curb to order a cone *to go*.

The taxi drivers and the bus drivers are the most polite. Not only do they stop for people, they make eye contact and a hand gesture to indicate it's ok to cross.

At first I didn't get this system and was kinda scared to step out into the street, but it throws everything off if someone hesitates, better just to go with the flow and it all works out.

Added to the mix are many scooters and quads. Whole families ride on the quads, maybe dressed for church! Vegetables and flowers are delivered. Next to a 1960 VW bug, a quad maybe the perfect form of transportation for San Miguel.

Except for walking....walking is the very best!

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