Car Free Streets on Isleta de San Juan
Amongst the breathtaking rainforests and magnificent noteworthy attractions, there is a part of San Juan that is known as the most historic quadrant of the city and holds the key to the heritage of Puerto Rico. This unique location is called Isleta de San Juan, or just Isleta as the locals refer to it, home to Old San Juan. It is located just off the Puerto Rican coast and a number of bridges connect the beautiful island to the mainland of San Juan. For years the government has been implementing projects to protect Isleta, as it is also home to the country’s government buildings, and finally plans are coming together to conserve this majestic island.
Due to the island not being able to cope with the needs of the local community, steps have been brought in to make Isleta more accessible by removing all vehicle traffic from the island. Many businesses have opposed this move in previous years, and due to the opposition, prior efforts have failed. However, the government believes that it is purely the fear of the unknown that has caused businesses to be apprehensive about the changes. Of course, some form of transportation has already been discussed, which will be a light rail system. Creating a walkable Isleta de San Juan has now become a focus point. A filtering system has already been put into place, allowing only residents of Isleta and the municipality to drive automobiles here, which will make the newest transition a little easier.
Over and above the removal of automobiles, other positive developments are also on schedule, such as the revitalization of public areas, renovations being done to residential areas and growing a tourism infrastructure to suit the new Old San Juan. Some of the older neighborhoods have fallen into disrepair and breathing new life into the historic buildings of these areas will hopefully bring new business and assist in lifting the poverty found here. As most of the business in Old San Juan is generated by cruise ships and produce ships, new parking facilities and transportation structures will be implemented to facilitate visitors and business. Tourists to Isleta will be able to enjoy the unique cobble streets, historic structures and wonderful atmosphere of the island, while walking through its streets and discovering its extraordinary history.