“Transferring the issue elsewhere is illogical”

The closure of Guamasa by the General Directorate of Traffic has quelled the excitement of the Tenerife Cabildo. The DGT report emphasizes the need for measures with a holistic approach in the targeted area and its surroundings, rather than diverting the issue. It acknowledges a “somewhat” smoother flow of traffic, but observes increased congestion at certain times of the day despite the implemented measures. For instance, there is a reduction in travel time at 06:00 and 09:00 in the morning, but instances of longer travel times on the road are also evident.

In light of this report, the president of the Tenerife Cabildo has opted to permanently shut down the Guamasa link during peak hours. Dávila announced in a press conference that this trial had improved traffic by 15%. He reiterated the report’s conclusion that the measures taken have been successful.

The DGT report indeed notes an improvement of 10-15% at specific times, but emphasizes that the TF-5 circulation towards Santa Cruz has been marginally smoother during the test period.

The DGT underscores that for the measure to be truly effective, it must be complemented by additional actions on alternative routes. Transferring the issue elsewhere is illogical without comprehensive measures in the targeted area and its surroundings.

Significant actions suggested include the removal of the roundabout on the TF-235 Pk 00+400 road. This involves granting priority to traffic along the TF-235 highway from Pk 02+400 without the need for give way signs, and unblocking a lane on Pk 00+000 of the TF-235 highway.

Other proposed measures include reconfiguring the lane joining the TF-5 in an ascending direction at the Pk 02+000 detour of the TF-152 highway. This involves extending the incorporation lane to prevent delays caused by a lack of space for vehicles seeking access to the TF-5 highway.

Residents of Guamasa have criticized the measure. The neighborhood association president lamented that this change will lead to a “one-hour trap” for the residents. They criticized it as a toll that they have to pay so that North drivers can save approximately twelve minutes.

The PSOE has also expressed strong criticism. Former president Pedro Martín explained that Dávila’s chosen solution is the “simplest in the world.” By shifting the problem from the highway to thousands of residents of Guamasa, it disrupts multiple population centers on the island. Martín suggested that similar actions in Santa Úrsula and other northern centres may alleviate TF5 problems, but at the cost of creating substantial exit traffic congestion in these areas.

Keep in mind that, according to the DGT report, there is no change in one direction of the road (everything remains the same), while in the opposite direction towards Santa Cruz, it is stated that traffic is “slightly more fluid.” The DGT does not proclaim this to be a magnificent measure or a solution. Instead, it states that the changes are not apparent in one direction and show some improvement in the other. The need for complementary actions is also emphasized because transferring the problem from one place to another is nonsensical.

Martín also highlights that the analysis is based on 20 days during a holiday period. He also expresses regret that there is no technical report from the Cabildo officials regarding this solution, which he considers a serious issue. Furthermore, he criticizes the implementation of the measure without consulting those affected in Guamasa and the surrounding area, emphasizing the need for a solution that genuinely resolves traffic congestion.

The current senator insists that during his presidency of the Cabildo of Tenerife, he proposed what he believes could be the solution to this predicament: the implementation of the connection between Guamasa and the lower part of La Laguna. He asserts that the project has undergone an environmental evaluation but accuses the current president of thwarting its progress.

Martín insists that this was one of his flagship projects and that the environmental impact assessment was conducted during his tenure. He explains that approximately 90% of the route is planned to be underground, minimizing its impact on the territory and reducing surface area occupation. Moreover, he argues that the construction can proceed without disrupting current traffic, except for minimal inconvenience when the road is completed and connected.

He contends that this, along with the connection with San Juan de La Rambla, constitutes the solution to the TF5. Additionally, he mentions the completion of projects on the TF5 and the TF1 from Las Américas to San Isidro, which have been delayed despite being in a challenging section of the FT1.

Other political parties have also expressed their disapproval of this measure. This includes IUC, which advocates for bus lanes, and United we can, who believe that this measure simply shifts the issue of traffic congestion without addressing the root causes.

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