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The government is mulling further pedestrianisation projects, social affairs secretary says

The streets in the vicinity of the Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro could be closed to vehicular traffic on a temporary basis in a bid to revitalise the area.

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The streets in the vicinity of the Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro could be closed to vehicular traffic on a temporary basis in a bid to revitalise the area.

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PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:26 am

Elsie Ao Ieong U, the social affairs and culture secretary, says the government is studying the feasibility of pedestrianising, on a temporary basis, some of the streets in the vicinity of the Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, Macao’s main thoroughfare.

According to Macau Post Daily, she told lawmakers yesterday that there had been commercial interest in the idea and that it was the government’s aim to revitalise the city’s older quarters and provide an environment for cultural and creative activities.

The secretary said the results of the study would be released as soon as possible.

Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, colloquially known as San Ma Lou (“New Road”) in Cantonese, was pedestrianised for a total of five days over the Lunar New Year period at a cost of 2.6 million patacas.

[See more: No immediate plans to pedestrianise San Ma Lou again]

While it attracted some 140,000 visitors, according to figures from the Cultural Affairs Bureau, the project led to unforeseen problems and “severely affected” many businesses and residents, critics said.

In a written submission to the government in March, legislator José Pereira Coutinho said that barriers erected to enforce the pedestrianisation had the effect of discouraging crowds from exploring the area’s side streets. 

He also said that many retailers in the vicinity had complained that they were not consulted before the pedestrianisation took place.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:26 am

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