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While this is not meant to address if things are better or worse,  12 years is a long time. Like bmh suggests there are a TON more cars on the roads now than ever before and cobble stones don't do well under pressure. The rise in vehicle traffic in the last 3 years is beyond belief, including within the village, probably surpassing the total gain of the previous 8-10 years.   

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I think most of  us who have lived here a while will live to regret this Pueblo Magico designation.  Our streets are already overcrowded with traffic and people, without any real infrastructure improv

most coblestoned street have no cement , it allows water to seep in and slows down water coming down hill. I cannot walk on the tones anymore but it is the way the people who bothered to vote want it

Yes and there is no need for topes. If one doesn't like the town's street surfaces, MOVE!  

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I've never understood why people want cobblestones. And how is that "no cement? They are held together with cement, duh. Do the people who want to keep the cobblestones also type on an old manual typewriter and not use cell phones? Do they never drive cars?

They're hard to walk on, don't hold up to heavy traffic. Weren't they from a bygone era when people travelled on foot or horseback? I'm all for preserving beautiful historical features and keeping OXOs, etc. out of towns, and think that new architecture should be suited to the prevailing look of a town, but everything "quaint" isn't worth preserving. 

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10 hours ago, mudgirl said:

I've never understood why people want cobblestones. And how is that "no cement? They are held together with cement, duh. Do the people who want to keep the cobblestones also type on an old manual typewriter and not use cell phones? Do they never drive cars?

They're hard to walk on, don't hold up to heavy traffic. Weren't they from a bygone era when people travelled on foot or horseback? I'm all for preserving beautiful historical features and keeping OXOs, etc. out of towns, and think that new architecture should be suited to the prevailing look of a town, but everything "quaint" isn't worth preserving. 

Couldn't agree more.  The paving around the plaza is very consistent with the character of the village and vastly superior to cobblestones.  The increased traffic should dictate that both Ocampo/Constitucion  and 16 de Sept/Independencia should receive this treatment if nothing else.

Rick, twelve years has little to do with it.  Anyone who has been paying attention should be able to see the level of maintenance of the streets, both repair and cleaning, has dropped drastically.

Absolutely correct, Harry.  Javier came to do good and he did quite well for himself.  Not so much for us.  :D  

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5 minutes ago, Upfront said:

im sure its cheaper to continue to repair with cobbles that require low paid labor than it is to do just about any other kind of paving

Yes and there is no need for topes. If one doesn't like the town's street surfaces, MOVE!

 

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27 minutes ago, Mainecoons said:

Couldn't agree more.  The paving around the plaza is very consistent with the character of the village and vastly superior to cobblestones.  The increased traffic should dictate that both Ocampo/Constitucion  and 16 de Sept/Independencia should receive this treatment if nothing else.

Rick, twelve years has little to do with it.  Anyone who has been paying attention should be able to see the level of maintenance of the streets, both repair and cleaning, has dropped drastically.

Absolutely correct, Harry.  Javier came to do good and he did quite well for himself.  Not so much for us.  :D  

The city had a referendum on street surfaces in Nov. 2019 after the crosswalk fiasco; all residents were allowed to vote including expats. 

The majority voted for use of river rocks same as used in street surfaces.  The people have voted, accept the election results!

 I live on 16 de Sept/Independencia and love the cobbles; I voted with the majority last year.   

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https://www.caracteristicas.co/pueblos-magicos-en-mexico/

Google Translation:

"What are the Magical Towns?

The Magical Towns are a group of populations throughout the territory of Mexico, considered as representative of the different cultural and architectural stages of the history of this Latin American nation, such as the ancient indigenous nations, the colonial past, the revolutionary era, etc. 

The designation of Pueblo Mágico, given since 2001 by the Ministry of Tourism of that country, encourages and rewards the preservation of traditions and the Mexican historical cultural heritage through an intense campaign of tourism promotion, both nationally and internationally.

In this sense, the entity monitors the sustained fulfillment of specific performance indicators in the matter, being able or not to renew the membership of a town to the promotion program, added to the designation of new magical towns.

Characteristics of the Magical Towns:

Origin:

 From 2001 to 2009, an average of 3.5 towns were designated each year.

The program was implemented for the first time during the government of Vicente Fox (2000-2006). The Pueblos Mágicos program was the brainchild of Eduardo Barroso Alarcón, who at that time held the position of Undersecretary of Tourism Operations. The first town to be declared as such was Huasca de Ocampo, in the state of Hidalgo. That same year, Mexcaltitán, Tepoztlán and Real de Catorce were added to the list.

From 2001 to 2009, an average of 3.5 towns were designated each year, for a total of 32. From 2009 to the present, the rest have been designated, in a series of appointments that were not always received with enthusiasm.

Current quantity

Some towns are no longer magical towns due to non-compliance with the requirements.

The total number of populations that retain the Magic Town status is 111 (in 2016), distributed among the 32 states or provinces that make up the country. Some localities were withdrawn for failure to comply with the requirements, as is the case of Mexcaltitán (2009).

Economic income

It is estimated that the program has produced in 2014 tourist income of 7,200 million Mexican pesos (about 380 million dollars), which exceeds that produced by border tourism (7,100 million pesos) and even more by maritime cruises ( 4795 million pesos), becoming the largest tourist economic force in the country in the last decade.

Critics

Various populations claim their access to the Magical Towns program.

Contrary to expectations, many populations have rejected the program, understanding it as a privatizing attack against the identity and heritage value that, paradoxically, they seek to preserve. Others, on the other hand, demand their access to it, as a stimulus to raise economically more depressed and forgotten regions.

The administration of the program since 2010, during the mandate of Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), has also been controversial, during which there was a noticeable increase in the populations on the list, including some that did not meet the minimum requirements. The program lost credibility and was put under review the following years.

Distribution in the territory

The distribution of the Magical Towns in the Mexican territory is quite uneven. They predominate in the State of Mexico (10), Puebla (9), Michoacán (8) and Jalisco (7), while in states such as Baja California, Campeche, Guerrero, Colima, Durango and Tabasco they are limited to one. The total number, even so, is quite significant in tourism terms.

Criteria for the designation of Pueblo Mágico

A magical town should not be more than 200km from a main tourist destination.

The Mexican SECTUR requires the communities aspiring to the title of Magical Town to comply with the following requirements, to be taken into account:

Have a population of at least 20,000 inhabitants Not be more than 200 km from a main tourist destination Formally constitute a Magic Town Committee Have a local tourism development program for the next 3 years Guarantee health and public safety services for the tourist. Show the symbolic or cultural attraction of the town.

As well as any other that the committee considers relevant for the tourist performance of the town. The decision is also subject to the State Congress and the local council.

Criteria for permanence in the program

Similarly, the populations already designated must annually renew their permanence on the list. For this they will be required:

Maintain an active Magic Town Committee and up-to-date on its resolutions Carry out the planned tourist plans and programs as normal Maintain the logistics, health and safety services necessary to protect tourists Guarantee the operation of a Statistical Information System. Weighing the impact of tourism development on the community Innovating in terms of the catalog of available tourism products Offering an annual report of activities in great detail.

Also follow up on any other aspect considered by the Committee and enjoy the approval of the State Congress and the local Council for the renewal.

The insecurity

The Magical Towns show a gradual increase in crime.

Another challenge that the program faces is organized crime, which has given these localities a bad international reputation and sometimes leads to the cancellation of their designations, even though it is not the responsibility of the residents.

Such was the case of Mier, in the state of Tamaulipas, when in 2010 there were events of violence linked to drug trafficking that, among other things, led to the exodus of 90% of the resident population; a situation that lasted until the intervention of the Mexican Army and that temporarily cost their entry into the program.

In recent years, the Magic Towns have shown a gradual increase in crime which, together with the wave of violence faced by some Mexican states, has greatly inhibited international tourism.

Total population

The total calculation of the population of the 111 magical towns that exist in 2016 exceeds five million inhabitants, in a country whose total population is close to 123 million people (2013 figures).

International success

Despite its drawbacks, the impact of the program at the international level has been so positive that countries such as Spain, El Salvador, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador made requests for advice to the Mexican Ministry of Tourism, in order to inaugurate local variants of the program in their territories.


"Magical Towns (Mexico)". Author: Julia Máxima Uriarte. To: Features.co. Last edition: July 9, 2019.Available at: https://www.caracteristicas.co/pueblos-magicos-en-mexico/. Accessed: December 8, 2020.

Source: https://www.caracteristicas.co/pueblos-magicos-en-mexico/#ixzz6g2pI1xau "

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most coblestoned street have no cement , it allows water to seep in and slows down water coming down hill. I cannot walk on the tones anymore but it is the way the people who bothered to vote want it so live with it or move. All this complaining is so tiring.. Things do not change quickly and everytome a project is done money disappear so live with it and move on... or move to Switzerland where everything is clean , well ordered, well painted , well regulated , beautiful and expensive and totally boring.

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Well I for one do think that 12 years has a lot to do with it.... and what those twelve years brought with respect to traffic. Certainly it is not the ONLY factor... less maintenance, for whatever reason, on anything will cause 'premature' failure. 

While I applaud folks trying to make things better, on this subject the people of the village voted to keep the cobblestones. Elections matter. The cobblestones were there when we came and there was never a promise/indication that that would change. 

If someone could figure out how to keep local politicians from plundering the till when they depart, many of these 'problems' would disappear. But good luck with that! That and cobblestones are probably here for the duration in Ajijic regardless of what other villages/towns may do in their domain. 

 

 

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My understanding that vote was about the crosswalks, not the streets in general.  People didn't want the crosswalks to be that different, and so garish, as the streets.  I think a reasonable solution is to rock cement the heavily traveled streets, much as they are doing in Chapala, and leave the rest alone with better maintenance.

In any case the primary cause of the atrocious condition of Ajijic streets is greatly decreased maintenance starting about 6 years ago.  And it wasn't just the potholes, it was street sweeping in the heavily used areas, the Malecon, everything.  I recall several years ago Harry posting a number of times about how Ajijic no longer had the regular municipal workers, the number four seems to come to mind, that it had previously.

Chapala has been very diligent about raising assessments in Ajijic, which has by far the richest tax base in this municipio.  They have been a great deal less diligent about maintaining, let alone improving, the services those taxes pay for.  Let us hope the Pueblo Magico designation brings with it a restoration of basic services here.

And here is not Chapala or Fort Collins Colorado.  Part timers or no timers from other towns who state they never come here anyway are really not in a position to appreciate this situation IMO.

 

 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Mainecoons said:

 

Chapala has been very diligent about raising assessments in Ajijic, which has by far the richest tax base in this municipio.  They have been a great deal less diligent about maintaining, let alone improving, the services those taxes pay for.  Let us hope the Pueblo Magico designation brings with it a restoration of basic services here.

It has been pointed out to you on many occasions that this is simply not true. The city of Chapala has the richest tax base by far. Assessment was done in the entire Municipio of Chapala and the village of Ajijic with no industry nor any LARGE retailers,doesn't even come close nor was it singled out for this reassessment. In any event, property and business taxes collected  are turned over to Jalisco and they send back to our local government,  $'s [that tax revenue and additional funds] as they deem fit. The piddly property taxes are not and never have been enough to cover the cost of"basic services". The budget which is topped up by state funding is what does that. We also receive a goodly amount from the feds as they deem fit.

pedro kertesz

 

 

 

 

 

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"It has been pointed out to you on many occasions that this is simply not true. The city of Chapala has the richest tax base by far. Assessment was done in the entire Municipio of Chapala and the village of Ajijic with no industry nor any LARGE retailers,doesn't even come close nor was it singled out for this reassessment. In any event, property and business taxes collected  are turned over to Jalisco and they send back to our local government,  $'s [that tax revenue and additional funds] as they deem fit. The piddly property taxes are not and never have been enough to cover the cost of"basic services". The budget which is topped up by state funding is what does that. We also receive a goodly amount from the feds as they deem fit.

pedro kertesz"

 

Business taxes do not go to Jalisco. They are not turned over to the municipo. They are collected by the federal government through Hacienda and the division SAT. Then the federal government distributes them first by population and then by propossed budgets each state and municipo submits every year. This is suppossed to be guaranteed by the Mexican Constitution and federal law and until the recent federal administration it was. Now no. That is why the northern states formed their federation to get back their guaranteed legal tax money and not allow the federal government to withhold money from their share.

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11 hours ago, bmh said:

most coblestoned street have no cement , it allows water to seep in and slows down water coming down hill.

Perhaps "most" don't, but the ones in PV do as well as where I live in Sayulita. Everytime I've seen them building them or working on them, they always use cement under and between the stones.

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5 hours ago, mudgirl said:

Perhaps "most" don't, but the ones in PV do as well as where I live in Sayulita. Everytime I've seen them building them or working on them, they always use cement under and between the stones.

Cobblestones in most of central Mexico are square or rectangular quarried granite stones set together on a base of gravel and sand without cement. In PV they use smooth rocks which are cemented together. They are hard to walk on compared to granite style cobblestone and slippery when wet. Both styles are called cobblestone.

abstract-background-old-cobblestone-pavement-600w-639542899.jpg

800px-Ancient_road_surface.jpg

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no matter what cobblestones are more difficult to walk on and slippery when wet

I like the look of them but I sure do not like to walk on them .cement o no cement. Little square ones like you see in Europe are better but still nothing like smooth pavement to walk on.

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Footwear can make a huge difference.  I wear Teva sandals year round, in the rainy season I wear Teva's that are designed for walking on wet and slick surfaces. 

Teva makes everything from sports sandals to hiking boots to fashionable shoes, dressy sandals and knee-hi boots.  

Available for women and men via AMZN MX

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2 hours ago, bmh said:

no matter what cobblestones are more difficult to walk on and slippery when wet

I like the look of them but I sure do not like to walk on them .cement o no cement. Little square ones like you see in Europe are better but still nothing like smooth pavement to walk on.

One important thing to consider some people might not know is that INAH has many historic sites all over Mexico and some are called "Centro Historico". Our city has been designated as an INAH site with defined boundries in Centro which are subject to their rules. Owners need permission from INHA to do anything to their property if it is located within the boundry which in San Luis Potosi is very large. The cobblestone streets and sidewalks need to be cobblestone not replaced with cement or asphalt without approval from INAH. Houses and buildings can be divided or be multi-use as long as they have no sections demolished and the  houses and buildings can only be demolished once their roof collapses, not before. That is why you sometimes see antique structures decaying in these zones and not yet demolished and replaced. We have about a couple of hundred in our "Centro Historico". Unsightly but required.

I presume the replacement structure must meet a style approved by INAH. If you ask what about those multi- story square buildings built in the 50s or 60s I presume because they have stone facades they somehow got built by someone connected or were not in a designated INAH site then. Some still might not be within the boundry. There are the ones in "Joyas Distrito" [ jewelry wholesales] in the very center of Guadalajara's "Centro Historico" which I personally find out of place even with their stone facades.

 

https://www.inah.gob.mx

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9 hours ago, AlanMexicali said:

Cobblestones in most of central Mexico are square or rectangular quarried granite stones set together on a base of gravel and sand without cement. In PV they use smooth rocks which are cemented together. They are hard to walk on compared to granite style cobblestone and slippery when wet. Both styles are called cobblestone.

Thanks for the explanation and photo- I'm sure I must have seen the rectangular stone style without cement on my past travels around Mexico,  but I didn't know that was also referred to as cobblestone. The lower photo is what I'm used to seeing in my area- I'm not sure how the city Mexican gals in their high heels manage to navigate them without breaking an ankle, but somehow they do.

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Boulevard St Michel in Pari was paved with cobble in sand and gravel, until the students used them as wepons againt the police and then historical district or not they were paved over.. in 68.. Everything changes eventually so  one day we will have solid pavement in Ajijic but I am not holding my breath.. INAH gave permiion to take them out in my barrio in San Cristobal last year.. as well..

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Just import a couple of French students, that should resolve the matter. ☺️

By the way, I remember the 1968 French riots. I lived in Geneva and remember my dad coming home from a car ride in the French Jura and telling me that people tried to hijack his car for gas. Luckily for them they jumped out of the way to avoid being run over..

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The level of expertise in stonework is easy to see in Mexico. Whether walls, or streets, the legacy is there for generations, staring back. To use a lot of concrete, and use random rocks, flat as possible, dropping them into puddles of concrete, is bad workmanship. A true stonemason would chisel stones so they all interlock together, on a well prepared sand bed. The tightness of where they join is the measure of their skills. Stonework at Machu Pichu is so tight, that a paper cannot slip through the joints. No mortar or concrete was used. A stoneworker's marvel called dry stone. Likewise, sections of the Roman roads in Britain are still viable.

Concrete from Portland cement is actually very soft, and takes 99 years to fully cure, slowly contracting all that time. Sand and stones give the strength. It is an inexpensive material, and can be applied by an inexperienced person. But it is a high maintenance material because all the concrete joints are going to crack. Count on it.

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1 hour ago, CHILLIN said:

But it is a high maintenance material because all the concrete joints are going to crack. Count on it.

I have done a lot of cement and concrete work myself. My work doesn't crack. Maybe it would in the course of 100 years, but it hasn't in 15 years since I did it. I've found that the masons here don't use enough aggregate in the mix- they have the false notion that the richer in cement the mix is, the stronger.

But yes, those old and ancient walls and such that were built by master stonemasons who sculpted and fitted the stones together perfectly are quite impressive.

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19 hours ago, HoneyBee said:

Just import a couple of French students, that should resolve the matter. ☺️

By the way, I remember the 1968 French riots. I lived in Geneva and remember my dad coming home from a car ride in the French Jura and telling me that people tried to hijack his car for gas. Luckily for them they jumped out of the way to avoid being run over..

I was a student at the Sorbonne  in 68 but I was in England finshing work at the time, I could not go back home , there was no transportation , no gas, no food , no burial, it was a real mess.

Yes the student took care of the paving stones on the boulevard Saint Michel.. When the exams took place it was with armed guards in the amphitheatres... For the German exam they gave us a text from My Kampf from Hitler.. half of the people walked out...someone had a sense of humour.

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