Bike Friendly Sundays in Playa
Posted by Tony & Cheri on August 1, 2011
One of the things we like so much about living in Playa del Carmen is that it is constantly changing. Our repeat hotel guests often comment on how different things are since their last trip…new restaurants, new shops, favorites closed, etc.
Even those of us who live here are often amazed at the daily changes in Playa. One of the latest appears to be Playa’s attempt to make the streets more bike-friendly.
To that end, every Sunday morning from 8 am to 11 am, 10th Avenue is now closed to car traffic from Juarez to CTM and open only to bicyclists and pedestrians. (CTM is outside of the tourist zone, about 10 or so blocks north of Constituyentes.) Of course the 8 to 11 time frame depends on who you talk to…this is Mexico, after all. Could be 7 to 11, 7 to 10, 6:30 to 10–who knows. And it probably differs from week to week depending on, well, quien sabe. As we all know, Mexico is not a place you set your watch to. 🙂
Of course this means that the cross streets on either side of 10th are also closed beginning much earlier than 8 am. So if you want to cross 10th or 5th Avenue by vehicle from either direction, you have to get pretty creative. To get to the hotel this morning, we had to drive north down Avenida 20 to CTM and turn right, then right again on 5th Avenue, left on Calle 32 to Avenida 1 to Calle 26. As you can imagine, it makes for some frustrated drivers, late tour and airport pickups and general chaos. Thank goodness Sunday mornings tend to have fewer cars on the road!
We do have to laugh, though. Like so many things that happen here…this wasn’t well publicized, if at all. And on two different Sundays driving around this area, we didn’t see a single bike using 10th Avenue. It’s also kinda funny to us that Playa chose to close 10th Avenue rather than any other street…since 10th Ave is one of the only streets in town that already has a bike path!
We stopped years ago trying to figure out why things here are done the way they are. It’s best to just laugh and enjoy the daily surprises this place has in store for us all. And, by the way, if you feel like a bike ride in Playa del Carmen….you might want to get up early Sunday mornings. 🙂
The municipality finally got around to emailing local businesses about the bike route, and it turns out there is a second route open on Sunday mornings as well. This one is outside of the tourist zone in the area called “Arco Vial.” This is also known as 115th Avenue (on the other side of the highway). The area closed to traffic on Sunday mornings goes from Juarez to Centro Maya shopping center.
And speaking of changes….we have some exciting changes coming to the Luna Blue in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.