Road works make Lisboetas miserable

ROAD WORKS are driving Lisbon motorists and pedestrians around the bend, according to the Associação dos Cidadãos Auto-mobilizados (ACA-M), the Portuguese association for drivers, passengers and pedestrians, The Resident’s Chris Graeme reports.

Many citizens have been complaining that they do not remember the last time the street where they work or live had not been permanently dug up. Some city centre streets, particularly in and around Picoas, have been under constant work for the past seven years. This affects motorists and pedestrians alike and makes it almost impossible to find parking spaces. Local business owners claim that work on burst mains pipes, which should take a matter of two days at most to fix, goes on for weeks, driving away customers at a time of economic crisis that they can ill afford to lose.

Manuel João Ramos of ACA-M says: “The pedestrian is always the last man in the street to be considered when the

council authorities carry out public works. We’ve received quite a few complaints, but we really need people to come out and complain more if it’s going to have any effect.”

Ramos says that, even when the council constructs special pedestrian access ways, heavy vehicles, belonging to construction companies carrying out the work, park in front of them, blocking pedestrians’ access. “Despite the fact that these companies, by law, are supposed to carry out the work within a strictly designated time limit, they never meet it,” he moans.

Ramos believes that Lisbon Câmara simply isn’t taking the problem seriously enough. “Everybody gives priority to the car owner and traffic. Works carried out for the benefit of pedestrians are merely cosmetic to look like something is being done,” he concludes.

burst mains pipes, which should take a matter of two days at most to fix, goes on for weeks, driving away customers at a time of economic crisis that they can ill afford to lose.

Manuel João Ramos of ACA-M says: “The pedestrian is always the last man in the street to be considered when the council authorities carry out public works. We’ve received quite a few complaints, but we really need people to come out and complain more if it’s going to have any effect.”

Ramos says that, even when the council constructs special pedestrian access ways, heavy vehicles, belonging to construction companies carrying out the work, park in front of them, blocking pedestrians’ access. “Despite the fact that these companies, by law, are supposed to carry out the work within a strictly designated time limit, they never meet it,” he moans.

Ramos believes that Lisbon Câmara simply isn’t taking the problem seriously enough. “Everybody gives priority to the car owner and traffic. Works carried out for the benefit of pedestrians are merely cosmetic to look like something is being done,” he concludes.