Road construction in the land of Pura Vida

San Jose shows the need for innovative development in Costa Rica

Road construction in the puro centro de San José, Costa Rica. This city is old and like most cities in Centroamerica has undergone slow, plodding changes (in contrast to the rapid growth of cities in Asia).

While they keep the roads maintained somewhat – as seen here – the traffic flow has remained frustrating and difficult for as long as I have been visiting, which is more than a decade.

Waze is the app of choice for anyone driving these days, and at times the navigation routes feel like completing a maze because they twist and wind and double-back in seemingly crazy ways down narrow one-way streets…but the computer-generated directions are truly the only sane way to navigate a city constructed in the past century with little progress.

In talking with drivers though, quite a few mentioned building “up”, speaking with admiration about the massive interchanges they’ve seen or heard about in the US, where highways layer over one another at intersections keeping the flow of traffic moving.

It’s likely the only viable solution in a city with no room to expand and a permanent population who need to get to their destination every day. The question is who is going to build it, and if so, why.

Perhaps the city will seguir como lo mismo in decades hence, with the only major changes being in the flow of traffic from the airport away from the city and to the gorgeous coastlines. -JG 🐒🙈

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