14ymedio, Havana, 24 May 2019 — This Friday, Havana’s Provincial Road Safety Commission stated that Malecón Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic on weekend nights as of this Saturday, May 25. The note indicates that the measure will be in force “as long as necessary” and comes almost a week after an accident that claimed the lives of five people along this street.
The Commission specifies that the weekend closings will be from nine o’clock at night “until the cultural and recreational activities scheduled in that area conclude.” The closed section is runs from Peña Pobre Street, in Old Havana, and 15th Street, in Vedado, the central corner where La Piragua is located, a square for concerts and cultural activities.
The note details alternate routes for drivers: Zulueta Street, Calzada de Infanta, San Lazaro, 25th, 23rd from O Street to G, Línea, Zanja, Reina and Salvador Allende, better known as Carlos III.
The Provincial Transport Company of Havana explained that bus routes 55, P16, P5 and P9, will travel from the Plaza of the Revolution municipality via P street, Infanta and San Lázaro streets, until they join their usual route. Service coming from the municipality of Old Havana, will operate via San Lázaro, Calzada de Infanta and 23rd.
The transport company offered “apologies for the inconvenience” and urged road users to comply with the provisions established to “avoid the occurrence of traffic accidents.”
This week five people died and almost a score were injured after being run over by an almendrón — a classic American car in use as a fixed-route shared taxi — that left the street and climbed the sidewalk in the area of 23rd and Malecón, a busy area during weekends.
In 2018 there were 10,070 crashes in Cuba that left 683 dead and 7,730 injured, with a frequency of one every 52 minutes, according to data from the National Road Safety Commission.
The country has a high rate of traffic crashes attributed, among other factors, to the advanced age of the fleet (most of the vehicles in circulation are more than 20 years old and many more than 60) and their precarious maintenance, which is frequently carried out in makeshift way
During the mandatory inspections carried out in 2018, “technical deficiencies” were detected in 44% of the verified cars (63,966), mainly due to the braking system, steering and lights.
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