Opinion: Pedestrianization in Xàbia by José Vicente Catalá

“What actions do I think the Council has to improve in order to attract more business and to be able to expand the commercial offer and improve customer comfort?”

ARCHIVE: Plaza Celestino Pons

Wednesday 12th May 2021 – JOSÉ VICENTE CATALÀ CHORRO with Mike Smith

A few weeks ago there was news about pedestrianization – “Xabia advances with the pedestrianization of Plaza Celestino Pons”. One step forward, one step back. When the works on the pedestrianization of the historic centre and parking zones were completed, the entire square and the roads around the market were pedestrianized, used only for loading and unloading until 10.00am. Then they changed it back and then they restricted parking again.

I think the ideal is for it to be completely pedestrianized, maximum loading and unloading service until 10.00am. As a tourist town, the streets and squares have to be the best equipped and without cars for the enjoyment of the local residents and the tourists.

Now, at a commercial level, what actions do I think the Council has to improve in order to attract more business and to be able to expand the commercial offer and improve customer comfort?

First of all, it is to get 500 cars removed from the streets of the town and put them in the car-parks at Portal del Clot and Plaza de la Constitución. Lower the monthly subscription price to 35 euros and carry out a campaign to fill the lower floors of the two car parks that are empty every night. Personally, I don’t understand how they claim there is a waiting list.

Then implement timed parking – a green zone as presented by Mayor Chulvi at a press conference about two years ago but has not developed as they stated. Parking control is necessary both in the perimeter roads – the ‘Rondas’ – and in all streets that have shops, the Thiviers neighborhood, Port and the Arenal zone. Each business, each opening license should be accompanied by a parking space like pharmacies. It is clear that the police do not have the necessary personnel to control it. Well, civil protection personnel can be hired for the task using the same budget agreed with the trade association. Marketing campaigns must be funded with the resources of the same business people and traders.

I remember very well several factors that the municipal technicians themselves highlighted as important when the pedestrianization project was being developed. Right now, they should be reviewed, such as:

First the entrance, at that time the most important one on Calle San Joaquín. Right now, it is soulless and with almost all the premises for rent, just like the Ronda Sur. It would be necessary to review the first visual impact of the town that has runs 200 metres around the gas station and views of the Raval de Baix. Is it a good image?

Also, the one they called the transversal road connecting the Plaza Constitución to Calle Mayor, via Virgen del Pilar. I don’t know what happened, but it wasn’t done. In all the meetings about the project, the importance that this connection should have was stressed. Didn’t they have enough money?

Nowadays, the important thing is proximity and comfort, to make it easier for the client to get to the desired establishment in the shortest possible time. Consequently, more commercial offer will be implemented with local shops, streets and living urban centres.

José Vicente Català Chorro

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