Taking the Cinta Costera route

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Walk 1
Try to solve traffic congestion wth new and wider roads — and more traffic is attracted.

The “other way” to the Casco Viejo

photos and captions by Eric Jackson

Going to cover an event in the Casco Viejo, the plan was to take the bus in from the Interior, the Metro to the Cinco de Mayo station, then walk up the Peatonal toward where I was going. But I went out the “wrong” exit, the one near the Museo Afroantillano, so decided to walk a different route, down to Avenida Balboa, across to the Cinta Costera, along that seashore development for a stretch and then from there through Santa Ana to the Casco Viejo. The rain restrained itself to a few tiny drops and it was quite a scenic walk. But the westbound part of Avenida Balboa was a challenge because there are not enough pedestrian overpasses, which meant a long wait for a traffic light that never changed, a partial momentary lull in the traffic and a dangerous dash across the street. There is a bridge to get over the eastbound lanes. The Cinta Costera is three different connected projects, with contracting about which we can argue and urban planning merits and demerits of each part. Once past the main pedestrian hazard — there wasn’t a proper pedestrian crossing at the end of my walk along the waterfront strip, but traffic was not nearly so heavy there — I beheld one of the nicer parts of Panama City.

 

The Walk 2
The foreign travel writers who take in the capital’s scenery by taxi tend to miss the pedestrian takes on Panama City’s emblematic new skyline.

 

The Walk 3
We can quibble about geography and class, which are important considerations for urban planning, but regardless of those things we are dealing with an impressive addition to the city’s park system.

 

The Walk 4
The Muelle Fiscal, the precursor of which was once upon a time an important point of entry for Panama but now mostly serves small fishing and tourism vessels, after which point this writer crossed over into Santa Ana. Notice the curved and partly obstructed Trump Ocean Club on the far right of this photo.

 

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