Municipality plans to start work on seven major projects, including Metropolitano 2 bus line

Lima’s municipality is planning to start work on El Metropolitano 2, a bus line that will connect the city’s Ate district in east Lima to the neighbouring port city of Callao, by mid-2012, Mayor Susana Villaran said.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) has agreed to provide Lima with $200 million to finance the project, state news agency Andina reported. The bus line is expected to be finished by 2014.

The municipality has invested about $1.5 million to complete preliminary studies on the project, which will help to improve traffic in Lima, Villaran said.

Villaran made the announcement during a press conference to present an evaluation of her administration during the first 100 days since taking office, and to announce seven major projects for the immediate future.

El Metropolitano 2 will complement the current Metropolitano bus line, which is a north-south connection across the city from Independencia to Chorrillos. That project was launched during the administration of Villaran’s predecessor, Luis Castañeda. Management of the project was criticized because the original cost more than doubled to 1.06 billion soles ($376 million) from 400 million soles.

The other major road projects include adding lanes and three interchanges on the north city section of the Panamerican Highway, complete the north ring road and two tunnels that will link Comas, San Juan de Lurigancho and Ate, and expand the Ramiro Prialé highway as far as the Los Angeles bridge in Chaclacayo. The latter will be a long-needed major improvement to the bottlenecks in east Lima of the Carretera Central, the principal access between Lima and the central Andean highlands.  

An additional project is the Rio Verde plan, which is to clean up the banks of the Rimac River and create parks and public spaces along the river’s course from above Chaclacayo to the port of Callao.

Projects to improve Lima’s traffic have also included reducing the number of informal taxis on the streets during peak hours and establishing a fund with 170 million soles aimed at repairing and improving roads. Authorities have begun technical studies to improve conditions along 60km of Lima’s makor streets starting in August.

In addition to traffic, one of the main concerns of residents in Lima, along with other parts of Peru, is crime and personal safety.

Villaran says her administration has set up citizen committees to promote safety and has also been conducting surveys on the perception of residents and victimization during her first 100 days in office. The results of the surveys are expected to be released soon, she said.

In addition, after consulting experts, the municipality prepared an ordinance to restrict the sale of alcohol after 3:00 a.m. in bars and after midnight in other areas.

The municipality is also planning to hire another 250 municipal security guards to reinforce safety.

Villaran and the report, however, did receive some criticism. Independent councilman Jaime Salinas said much of the report was on the municipality’s plans rather than actions that it has completed.

“It has been a poor report. We have listened for an hour and a half words and more words,” Salinas said.

Marisa Glave, a councilwoman for Villaran’s Fuerza Social party, rejected the criticism and pointed to the fact that the administration has only been in office for a little over three months.

“It has been three months in which we have cleaned house and reorganized the situation that we found the municipality in,” Glave said. “We have started the initial steps to address the main problems, but it has to be pointed out that in three months no one changes a city.”

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