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Bad News for Drivers in San José

July 2nd, 2009

jamupLast year, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas (MOPT or as North Americans might call it, the Transportation Department)  made a rule that drivers could not enter San Jose on certain days of the week, dependent upon the last digit of their license plate.  For numbers 1-2 it was Monday,  2-3 Tuesday, etc.  I immediately hated this rule as it restricted my freedom. Well, I did not Blog about it… just as well because about 3 hours later, I changed my mind!  Suddenly, the traffic in San Jose dropped and while I had to be inventive on Mondays, the other 4 days were wonderful!

Crow tasted just fine. Besides, I knew that some offended person would file an appeal with Sala IV, the Costa Rica Constitutional Court.They did, and just days ago, the court  deemed  this restriction unconstitutional and thus declared it null and void.

Basically, the court said that the Executive branch of the government does not have the legal power to impede or violate fundamental rights such as the liberty of transit.Hours later, the Transportation Minister ordered the  Policía de Tránsito (traffic police) to suspend the restrictions.

Now, days later, the traffic is back and San Jose is all but gridlocked. What’s that old Russian saying?  “Be careful what you wish for?”

About 10,000 tickets were handed out since the law went into effect.  None were paid though as the government waited to see if their restrictions were legal.

Clearly, something must be done and the MOPT is making noises about making a restriction under some other guise.  Personal liberty or no, I hope they succeed because the current traffic sitution is truly intolerable.

6 Responses to “Bad News for Drivers in San José”

  1. Will on July 2, 2009 9:03 am

    “fundamental rights such as the liberty of transit”


    Maybe next time you should throw in “inalienable”

  2. Flora Torrance on July 3, 2009 8:43 am

    This law was badly thought out. In London and in many European cities, traffic is restricted and the law working fine. The stupid thing about this MOPT law was that it penalised people on the outskirts of San Jose, ie traffic coming the Cero de la Muerte to Escazu or the airport on the “so called ringroads” This was ridiculous. You cannot stop people from travelling AROUND THE CITY, to get to another part of Costa-Rica,going nowwhere near the town center. I am fully prepared to be told that I cannot go inside the city such as Avenida Colon, Downtown etc.on certain days. This could be easily arranged. In some cities, big car parks have sprung up on the outskirts, with a bus liaison to downtown.

  3. J. Long on July 10, 2009 7:33 pm

    Hey , What Do Yall Realy Think About Honduras?

  4. Lee Smith on July 29, 2009 12:19 pm

    Things like this make me appreciate living in a small town.

  5. Bob Furlong on May 28, 2018 8:38 am

    What is present state Tim? In effect except as noted by MOPT?

  6. Tim on May 28, 2018 8:42 am

    Same as 9 years ago… wish they would make it Two days per week though. TRAFFIC IS HORRIBLE,