Capital is a cradle of violations of municipal regulations
Few spaces are left by merchants for the circulation of citizens, who are forced to take to the streets at the risk of being run over. Raul Asencio/LD
Santo Domingo, DR
The Constitution of the Republic and Law 176-07 of the National District and Municipalities indicate that municipal governments are called upon to use the resources they collect to maintain and beautify their jurisdictions.
However, in the National District and the municipalities of the province of Santo Domingo, the functions to which the town councils are called are ignored by the municipal governments, raising complaints from the residents of their districts.
It is assumed, as usual, to walk down a street or avenue in any of the municipalities and find that they are “decorated” on both sides by dozens of parked vehicles, even when parallel parking is prohibited. The same happens with the deplorable condition of the sidewalks, streets, and curbs, with the immense piles of garbage, and even the repetitive occupation of those passages with all kinds of merchandise.
Sidewalks as stores
As a direct example, there are neighborhoods in the National District, such as Villa Consuelo, where dozens of stores put limits to pedestrian passage by occupying not only their establishments but also the sidewalks and, in most cases, the streets.
Sets of chairs and dining rooms, tires, beds, washing machines, windows, irons, toilets, and waste from carpentry stores, among others, placed outside the stores, are the most common scenarios in the sector.
They place toys, clothes, and anything else that belongs to their businesses, under awnings set up by themselves to protect the merchandise, all this assuring that they have not received any recent complaint or warning from the Mayor’s Office of the National District, which states in its description that they are instructed to “regulate and manage the public space, both urban and rural,” and that on more than one occasion it is supposed to have tried to recover these spaces.
The citizens well know the prohibition of occupying public roads to set up businesses; however, compliance with the law is minimal, and the follow-up of the mayor’s offices is the same; because it is not only in the National District where the infringement occurs without consequences, it also happens in Greater Santo Domingo where many, even, perform heavy work outside the premises.
Although there are other authorities in charge of the regulation of traffic on public roads, the mayors are dictated to work for the “orderly transit of vehicles and people on urban and rural roads,” as well as to “order and regulate urban public transportation,” however Santo Domingo suffers from the lack of education of its drivers and the poor quality of the system for following up on the petitions established in the Constitution and the laws.
The problem starts with the poor signage of the streets, to the freedom to park wherever they want, even in spaces that are supposed to be punishable, endangering other drivers, or simply making it difficult for them and pedestrians to pass because they also park on the sidewalks.
Likewise, the norms that regulate the use of green areas, parks, and gardens are not very efficient, primarily due to the weak management of the maintenance of most of them; as an example, we could point out the park of the Cancino Adentro sector, in Santo Domingo East.
The green area has a baseball stadium in poor condition, a deplorable basketball court, and a children’s entertainment area where none of the artifacts work.
Meanwhile, the hygiene problem reported since yesteryear seems to have the mayors willing to allow it to consume their constituencies.
The cleaning work in Invivienda, San Isidro, Los Mina, San Vicente de Paul Avenue, and other neighborhoods is critical, in addition to generating constant complaints to the current mayor of Santo Domingo East, Manuel Jimenez. The same happens in Santo Domingo Oeste and the National District.
The municipality of Santo Domingo Norte has the least number of complaints of this type.