It looks like the new highway between Adeje and Santiago del Teide has been delayed again. However, governmental funding has been approved, work can now continue and hence the expected completion date has been postponed until the end of 2013. This coincides with another part of the island loop (“anillo insular” in Spanish), the stretch between Icod de los Vinos in the North of Tenerife and Santiago del Teide. The two new roads represent a 400 million euro investment for the island of Tenerife.
In searching for some media to add to this post, sometimes I seem like the only one to see the benefits of the new ring road. That doesn’t mean I approve of its construction in the first place, because quite frankly, we try and keep our island beautiful (or at least we’d like to think we do). I just try to be optomistic wherever possible. What’s the point in all this pessimistic doom? I see all these protest signs all over the internet. Like the one pictured to the left. “PROTEST. No to the destruction of our land. Stop the anillo insular, there are alternatives.” Umm, what alternatives exactly? Why not mention the alternatives on this sensationalist poster? An adequate transport infrastructure is the key to a well developed, some might say advanced, economy.
I’m surprised, because anyone who lives here should be familiar with the constant stream of vehicles along road TF47 and TF5 (between Icod & Puerto de la Cruz it’s not an actual highway, just a two lane road). It takes just one slow driver on this route to add 15-20 minutes to your journey time. Seriously. That’s not just wasted time, it’s wasted fuel. Many of these drivers are just passing through. They don’t stop and spend money along the way in all the local little hangouts. Here’s a thought: wouldn’t it be more efficient for all these vehicles to travel on a highway? Well it is and that’s why they’re already building it.
Here’s my positive outlook for these road upgrades. People here need a jolt of optimism in a time of crisis. More cars on newer straighter roads will mean less cars on the old, windy interesting roads. So for cyclists, motorcyclists and Sunday drivers alike, the creation of new highways results in less traffic on the more scenic routes… “the road less travelled” as they say. These type of riders and drivers are the ones who are more likely to stop at a cafe and spend money.
That’s not all, the shortening of journey times around this region should actually open up working opportunities in the area. It will then be more cost effective for people to work further afield or for the self-employed to take on an extra job that’s further away than their normal work zone. To the people living in affected areas, you now have an opportunity to work in either Las Americas or Puerto de la Cruz for example.