Santo Domingo surrenders to sprawl, squatters
Santo Domingo.- The District National City Council (DNA) on Monday admitted having no police power to keep public spaces free of squatters and sprawl across the capital.
Public Space Defense Office director Elvin Reynoso said despite continuous evictions of pedestrian bridges, green areas and sidewalks, they’re soon occupied again on lack of a permanent staff.
As to the sprawling barrios whose sidewalks are blocked with tires, wheels, spare parts and other merchandise, the official said the City Council coordinates with Public Works Ministry, National Police and Metropolitan Transit Authority to recover sidewalks and plant trees.
Reynoso said the City Council holds meetings with neighborhood boards and merchants to coordinate actions, since it doesn’t act with abuses but a consensus with those affected instead.
"We’ve removed thousands of unused tires, tire fixing shops, businesses that occupy sidewalks with used spare parts, appliances and a myriad of things, but you can’t imagine how difficult that is to preserve," the official said.