Buenos Aires, Feb 12 (IANS/EFE) The plan to change the appearance of Avenida 9 de Julio, one of the widest avenues in the world, to accommodate special bus lanes has stirred protests in the Argentine capital.
Mayor Mauricio Macri’s administration wants to reduce the waiting time for buses on the avenue from 40 minutes to 15 minutes by building busways that will take up two lanes in each direction.
Construction of the special lanes started several weeks ago.
Residents and opposition legislators are criticizing the project, especially plans to chop down more than 300 trees and reduce the size of the Plaza of the Republic, which is home to the Obelisk.
A total of 305 trees, including some specimens that are about 40 years old, will be removed, but “the majority will be replanted” along the avenue and in green spaces, Buenos Aires city officials told EFE.
Some “550 new trees will be planted”, the officials said.
The Avenida 9 de Julio Metrobus line will be the second dedicated busway in Buenos Aires, where the Avenida Juan B. Justo busway was dedicated in 2011.