The forecasts have been met. A municipal report has confirmed the intuition of the City Council that there was a demand for parking spaces for a thousand parking spaces in Retiro. “The parking surveys show a demand of 1,140 places for residents and merchants,” the survey concludes. The study, carried out by Prointec, multiplies by eight the result of another report from last December prepared by the same company: it collected the requests of real places of the neighbors and added 150. This document was signed by José María Iglesias Vallejo. In January of this year, one month after its elaboration, he was appointed by the City Council deputy director of car parks and crane at EMT, a position created by the Almeida team.
Although the City Council has not made the demand study public, it ensures that “4,774 surveys have been carried out for three weeks in 73 portals in the area, between Menéndez Pelayo Avenue and Narváez”. The survey has not been carried out door to door, but some leaflets were hung in which people were asked to write their name and show their predisposition to acquire a place. “There are names that are repeated and others do not correspond to neighbors or companies domiciled in the building,” explains a resident. He doesn’t want to identify himself, but shows several photos of the sheets. “Anyone can have filled in that. We ask for a serious survey and this is not it ”, lament Félix Sánchez, secretary of the neighborhood association Retiro Norte.
The neighbors oppose the parking lot. They fear the “called effect” of cars that could produce and the increase in traffic, pollution and noise in the area. They have collected more than 45,000 signatures against him and describe him as a “gastroparking”: They consider that the only ones that interest them are some hoteliers with terraces in the area. “But not everyone,” says the representative of Retiro Norte: “We have met with La Viña, the association of hoteliers in Madrid, and they tell us that parking is not a priority for them.” “In addition, the project would involve several years of works that disturb hoteliers and neighbors a lot,” adds Sánchez.
Both the district councilor, Santiago Saura, and Deputy Mayor Begoña Villacís, both of Cs, have shown their repairs to the parking lot. “If the neighbors tell us that it is necessary, Cs will be there. But we understand that now they don’t ask for it,” Villacís repeated. More Madrid and PSOE have shown a “no resounding” to the project while Vox remains in profile. Last week, the extreme right left only the PP to abstain in the vote that rejected the project in the district plenary thanks to the sum of More Madrid, PSOE and Cs. The vice mayor said she would maintain that refusal in the plenary of Cibeles.
“The City Council has not justified the demand; He has not studied the effects of the measure on traffic, air quality or the Retiro Park ”, criticized Esther Gómez, Councilor for More Madrid. “It’s a fudge,” added Rita Maestre who has asked for the “stoppage of macroparking” in the municipal plenary that is held this Mars.
The demand study has been carried out by an external company: “Prointec has been working for the City Council since 2014. With the previous Corporation, it carried out 33 studies on car parks and its demand,” sources of Mobility and Environment have clarified. It is true that engineering has done these jobs. But while in a previous demand study, they published the 42 pages of the report, on this occasion the City Council has only published a note with the results without explaining the elaboration methodology.
Prointec also made a first report evaluating the construction of the Retiro car park. In it, “waiting lists for resident places were considered a good thermometer to measure residential demand.” He concluded that the neighbors claimed 150 seats from the City Council, almost eight times less than the current demand study. The report was signed (dated December 12) José María Iglesias Vallejo. At the end of that month, the City Council ceased to six charges – “one vendetta“, the workers’ representatives described,” an unheard of relief “in the public company – but also made five appointments: among them, the one from Vallejo who in January of this year became deputy director of parking lots and crane at EMT, a since it did not exist until that moment. “He joined the public company because of his specialization,” explained municipal sources.
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