Buses are top transportation choice; Former expat restaurant owner, Gringo Night host, dies; Neighborhood security system expands

Nov 25, 2019 | 11 comments

Municipal buses are the top transportation choice for almost half of Cuenca residents, according to a survey conducted in September. The survey shows a two percent increase in bus transport preference over results of a similar survey in 2016.

Taken during Transportation Week activities by University of Cuenca students September 16 to 22, the survey results showed that 48 percent of respondents rode the bus on a regular basis while 30 percent used taxis, 12 percent used private vehicles and 10 percent walked.

In response to a question about pedestrian safety, 62 percent of respondents said they favored more pedestrian-only areas in the historic district.

Expat restaurant owner, Gringo Night host, dies

Cuenca expat and former partner in DiBaccos restaurant, John Buskey, died last week.

John Buskey

A native of Falmouth, Massachusetts, John came to Cuenca in 2010 and partnered with Lauro Lopez in 2011 at DiBaccos, a popular Italian restaurant on Calle Tarquí between Simon Bolivar Gran Colombia. The restaurant hosted Cuenca’s last large-scale Gringo Night gathering, attracting as many as 100 expats to its Friday afternoon happy hour.

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John lived in the historic district where he was a tireless walker, along with his dog Twink. “I like to walk the back streets of El Centro,” he told another walker earlier this year. “It’s always an adventure, looking into the little shops, saying hello to the neighbors. It reminds me of where I grew up.”

John was 71.

688 more crime alert alarm systems distributed

Cuenca’s Citizen Security Council (CSC) distributed 688 crime alert alarm systems to residents of 19 neighborhoods last week. In total, CSC says there are more than 5,000 systems in operation in the city.

Mayor Pedro Palacios said the alarms, which notify police when activated, are essential to the city’s “Safe Neighborhoods” program. “It is crucial that we involve the people where they live in the effort to reduce crime and this program has been one of the most successful in doing that,” he said.

The mayor said that the municipality has allocated more than $46,000 to support the program.

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