Santa Pola’s streets: Bollards for trees

Carrer d'Elx street in Santa Pola, Alicante

Mes Santa Pola asked to address bollard dominance in urban spaces at the April 25 Plenary Session.

Safety concerns

The widespread placement of bollards across Santa Pola’s streets initially intended for safety, has now become a pressing concern among residents. These barriers, installed between 2021 and 2022, pose significant obstacles to pedestrian movement, especially during crowded events and festivals. Residents worry about the potential safety hazards posed by these obstructive elements, highlighting the need for immediate action to address this issue.

Green solution

To address safety concerns and enhance Santa Pola’s urban landscape, Mes Santa Pola proposes a visionary solution: replacing numerous bollards with trees. This strategic transition not only improves street aesthetics but also reduces maintenance costs. Currently, the municipality is actively installing bollards in various locations to address over 20 resident requests and adhere to recommendations from the Local Police. Efforts are focused on commercial streets like ‘Calle de Elche’, ‘Calle Santa Isabel’, ‘Calle Mayor’, and ‘Avenida Jesus Astondoa’, with pending installations in response to neighbourhood and business complaints in areas such as ‘Calle Victoria’, ‘Calle Canarias’, ‘Calle Almirante Antequera’, and ‘Calle Sacramento’. These initiatives aim to prevent vehicles from parking on sidewalks, reducing congestion and safeguarding infrastructure like public lighting or water supply channels. Embracing this shift towards trees promises a more inviting urban environment, balancing safety and sustainability. Councilor Esteve Ruiz emphasises the initiative’s significance, foreseeing fewer vehicle-related damages and a greener streetscape with tree-lined avenues. However, Jorge Diez, the Infrastructure Councilor, highlights the cost-effectiveness of this approach, noting that while a bollard installation costs around €30, sidewalk repairs can escalate expenses to €300.

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Written by

Eva Alvarez