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It's No Cars Go in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Makeover

$1.5 billion is being pumped into a massive city re-design, turning it into a walking city, with no cars allowed.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, is not exactly the sort of place you’d imagine to be in dire need of a facelift and urban renewal. Images of a gorgeous coastline and old colonial architecture come to mind, but guess what? The old part of the city, "the Isleta," is rife with poor urban planning scars, such as inaccessible beaches due to ports and an excessive reliance on cars. The government has decided to infuse the city with $1.5 billion dollars to re-develop San Juan and, most of all, make it a walking city, with no cars allowed.

The plan, announced last month, also lays out a new mass transit network, new roads and intersections, and beach access points. The motivation for the city re-design is in part due to the city’s massive decrease in population over the years (see infographic below). By making the old city more appealing, the government of Puerto Rico hopes to see more people staying put and moving in. Hey, I’ll come by if you can ensure that Mark Anthony and Jennifer Lopez won’t run me over! But in the meantime, New Yorkers, watch out!

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  • Dale Moriarty

     This looks really positive for the city, my only question is, if aiming to creating a carfree walking city why is it still nessesary to have 4 lanes of automobile traffic moving in and out? If the rail system is planned and effective enough,  I would hope this wouldn't be needed. It also makes the rail system weaker as the car still looks desirable over the public transport system.

  • John Licht

    It is suggested that San Juan study Hawaii's new rail mass transit. Both have the same challenges. That way San Juan doesn't have to re-invent the steel wheel.

    John Licht
    Madisonville, Ky

  • Rio VonWulf

    Typical bone headed ideological move. I guess they don't expect any grocery stores or shopping. who wants to risk robbery on a light rail. Won't pass the ice creame test. And none of those arrogant bicycle punks who run you down.

  • vince rubino

    This is fantastic news! I hope San Juan is considering bicycle transportation as well.

  • Dave Cyra

    I would hope that Marc Anthony and J. Lo did run me over... then I could own the Miami Dolphins!... oh wait... maybe not.