City population expands rapidly but growth is poorly managed; Complaints about potholes mount; How Cuenca’s cemeteries and streets get their names
Hola, Todos –
La ciudad se acerca a parroquias (The city approaches parishes) – In the last census in 2010, there were 8 rural parishes in which 90% of basic needs were unmet. These were Octavio Cordero, Chaucha, Molleturo, Victoria del Portete, Quingeo y Tarqui; and 11 years later, they still need roads, sewer systems, potable water systems and other infrastructure. Some have lost population to both domestic and international migration, and others have gained population as the city has grown into previously rural areas. Parishes with accelerated growth include Ricaurte, Baños, El Valle, and Sayausí, possibly due to their proximity to the center of the city.
Just in El Valle, the population has increased by 38,000 or 40,000 in the last 10 years with dozens of private ciudadelas. The president of El Valle, Fabián Carrión said that the growth has been aggressive with very little planning and little awareness. He said you can find private developments with water, sewer, electricity, parks, and paved roads <full of gringos?> and still see communities without water and sewers <and not a gringo in sight>.
Where urban services have not reached include the farthest parishes such as Molleturo and Chaucha where basic services have not changed in more than 2 decades. In Chaucha the roads are so bad that providers of transportation think twice about offering rides since going to those locations is not profitable. <It wouldn’t take too many broken suspensions to reach that conclusion.> Just one trip between Cuenca and Chaucha can cost over $50.
Hay avenidas llenas de huecos (There are avenues full of holes) – Potholes, cracks and subsidence are common on the avenidas Los Migrantes, De Las Américas, Paseo de los Cañaris, Hurtado de Mendoza and González Suárez. Neighbors in the area of calle Armenillas and De Las Américas see the bad state of the road as a risk to pedestrians since drivers need to esquivar huecos (dodge potholes – or perform the Cuenca slalom), and cars wind up on the medians and sidewalks. <The Latin American Olympics is considering adding esquivar as a new sport.> Danilo Butos, director of municipal Public Works, reported a $48 million loan from the Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina (CAF) for street and sidewalk work. One project on Las Américas is from Turuhuaco to el Punto. It will start in enero of 2022 and will cost $2,041,000. Another is from the Hospital del Río to the Parque Industrial.
Between enero and febrero of 2022, there will be pothole repairs from the Feria Libre to Control Sur. On Los Migrantes, the worst stretch starts at the metal bridge where it is impossible to dodge the potholes. One truck driver parks his truck when he has to deliver fragile merchandise to that sector and finishes his deliveries on foot. Paving work will start in enero, 2022. Work on av. Hurtado de Mendoza will start in 6 months at the intersection with Los Andes near the Carlos Tosi park.
Los cementerios y calles centrales de Cuenca (The cemeteries and central streets of Cuenca) – The article would be interesting to those of you with an interest in local history. It’s about the cemeteries that were in each of the urban parishes in Cuenca, created by a municipal ordinance on 11/5/1898. It also includes a table of El Centro street names during the Colonial, Gran Colombia, República and Current periods. For example, Benigno Malo was named Del Toril, Del Toril, Boyacá and then Benigno Malo. Similarly, Mariscal Sucre went from Águila, Águila, and Malo to Mariscal Sucre.
And that’s all for today so hasta ? –