The Cuenca municipal transit authority plans to install new pedestrian street-crossing signals in several locations and is conducting a study for future installations.
The new signals will stop vehicular traffic in all directions to allow pedestrians to cross. A number of the new signals have already been installed, including two on the north and south sides of Parque de la Madre, on Av. 12 de Abril and Av. Florencia Astudillo.
Transit authority director Boris Palacios said that new signals are planned for Av. El Paraíso, opposite Vicente Corral Moscoso Hospital, and on Av. 24 de Mayo at the University of Azuay. Other signals will be added in the Av. Solano area as part of reconstruction work.
Palacios said that several pedestrian crossings are being considered for Av. de las Amercias and says his office will decide soon where those will be located.
21% of electric customers wired for conversion
Cuenca electric company Centrosur says that 21% of its 300,000 residential customers have the 220 volt service required to convert to electric cooking ranges.
President Rafael Correa announced two weeks ago that LP gas subsidies will be eliminated by the end of 2016 when new hydro electric plants will become operational. Once the subsidy is removed, government officials expect most homeowners to convert to electric service for appliances currently operated by gas.
The country’s appliance manufacturers say they are making plans to build more electric powered stoves, hot water heaters and clothes dryers, although they say they will continue to produce gas powered versions.
Juan Ugalde, Centrosur manager, says that residences without 220 connections will require re-wiring. “This is not cheap but we understand that the government will provide financial assistance for those who can't afford it.”
Second phase of Coopera payouts begins
The second phase of payouts to account holders of the failed Cuenca financial cooperative Coopera began Monday and area cooperatives handling the refunds said traffic was normal. The second phase continues through Friday, August 16.
Those receiving refunds during the week include account holders with less than $30,000 invested, account holders 65 and older with deposits of up to $40,000, and those with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Those in the latter group are allowed to withdraw up to $30,000 regardless of the amount of money in their accounts.
Diego Aguilar, the liquidator appointed by the Superintendency of Popular and Solidarity Economy, or SEPS, said all four cooperatives assigned Coopera accounts said payouts were going smoothly on Monday. Those cooperatives are JEP, Azuayo, Erco and Santa Rosa.
A lawyer representing Coopera account holders with more than $30,000, says he has still has few details about when his clients will be repayed. Gustavo Quito says that approximately 640 Coopera members, including about 120 expats, are still waiting for refunds.
Quito said some of those affected may begin a hunger strike this week to protest the Coopera liquidation plan and lack of information.