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Friday, April 18 2014 @ 02:29 PM EDT

Increase In New Car Sales Impacting Panama City Traffic Woes

Cars & TransportationTravelling by car through the streets of Panama City could become a mission impossible, especially during "rush hour", because of the increase in the number of vehicles on the road, which coincides with the road realignment project and the construction of the new metro subway system, which have reduced the number of available roadways.

Auto sales in Panama have also increased 7% from the previous year through July. So far this year 27,142 new vehicles of different brands have left the dealerships. It is estimated about 3,870 cars are sold per month on average according to the Automobile Dealers Association of Panama (ADAP).

This increase in the number of cars circulating in Panama City is having a significant direct impact on traffic, which has caused the collapse of road infrastructure, said Halmann Irvin, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture Panama (CCIAP).

Halmann said the CCIAP has put forward a proposal based on three points. They suggest that delivery trucks should make their deliveries during non peak hours, because doing it at night makes for a more complicated process. Their plan also envisaged the creation of loading and unloading zones within critical areas, to be developed together with the Mayor of Panama City. Finally, they called for cars that are parked illegally to be immediately towed.

This proposal did not prosper meetings held and attended by representatives of the Land Transit and Transportation Authority, the Ministry of Public Works, and representatives of the Union of Industrialists of Panama and the CCIAP.

Meanwhile, the President of the ADAP Ricardo Cuellas said the growth in auto sales is due in large measure to "the important contribution of bank financing and the high levels of employment in the country," and although he did not know the exact amount of money involved in these sales, he estimates it could exceed $ 500 million.

Both Halmann and Cuellas agreed that the projects implemented by the national government such as the construction of the Metro Line One of Panama, the Road Reorganization, and the implementation of the Metro Bus, will help reduce the traffic jams being experienced in Panama City, and today many of the traffic problems are being caused by the construction of these projects. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: The most salient point in this article - new auto sales are increasing because unemployment is way down, salaries are up, and people have more money to spend. Sooner or later all of these construction projects will be finished. Then, the next administration will start new ones, such as the Metro Line 2, and whatever else they can think of to spend public money, to make money on the kickbacks from the contracts.

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