You know you’re having a bad year when you think the city’s attention has shifted to cacti.
As if a couple of cacti, with a neighborhood park named after them, weren’t enough, the director of planning for the city of Tijuana and the director of public works have kicked off what the Tijuana Times called a “public beauty campaign.” A new online website, publicbeautify.org, was launched July 9 that will fund repairs and new design work on some of the city’s most eye-catching tree-lined walkways.
Currently, the website allows visitors to post photos of green pedestrian walkways whose natural rubberized cover has been riddled by harmful seeds from unpoisoned birds. Titled the “Green Walkway Clean Sweep Project,” the crackdown is over two years in the making. But it got a high-profile boost last week when local celebrities, such as actor Gregory Allen and tennis player Andrea Hlavsa, dropped in to clean up what Tijuana was calling “toxic” areas on the website and respond to their concerned constituents.
The city’s decision to pursue the campaign comes as park visitors regularly call the lack of maintenance of the city’s healthy green belt a “little city we built in the desert,” the website says.
The website, created by the Tijuana consulate general in San Francisco, hopes to fund planting projects for the safety of bicyclists and visitors, including items like shrubs, fences and a sidewalk.
Despite the widely publicized grooming of green walkways, some locals suggest a safer environment for everyone in Tijuana may be a more serious approach to the issue.
“How about taking care of the bridges and facades on those roads that are crumbling or more dangerous for pedestrians?” asked Dario Ayala, a city councilman, during an interview with the Tijuana Times. “We can’t just rely on the aesthetics of walkways, but we should have a better basis on how to go about maintenance.”