A Kinder Gentler Highway Experience

What motivates people to drive cautiously?  In Vallarta the focus of driving is to keep on moving.  Stop signs are guidelines and offered up as suggestions to take a moment and pause.  If the intent is to make people slow down then the topes (speed bumps) are the only way to influence driving behavior.  Why?  Topes can cause significant harm to a vehicle, which is a prized possession, and must be cared for.

Therefore, that is why topes are used so frequently throughout the city.  They work! What doesn’t work is relying on driver’s good intentions, especially when it comes to driving on Highway 200 – the Carretera. Everyone loves zooming up and down the highway and the feeling that they are driving up the Pacific Coast Highway.  Same beautiful waters, but a whole lot more pedestrians. Safety was the number one issue for ANA members.  It includes home and personal safety.  Whether you own or rent, walk or drive, it is important for everyone to be able to cross the highway. 

 The stretch of highway that divides the Amapas community twists and turns and allows vehicles to accelerate and decelerate at amazing speeds.  Quite often there are multi-denominational prayer services held at the blind intersections where requests for heavenly assistance can be overheard.  Please, oh please, make sure the oncoming vehicle is not accelerating as I enter the highway.  Pedestrians and drivers pray to  their respective divinities. Wouldn’t it be great if we all just slowed down?  What if every time we saw a pedestrian trying to cross the highway we stopped and let him/her do so?  What if we were driving slow enough to allow another vehicle to merge in front of us?  What if we all just got along? All possibilities.  All dreams.  What is our reality?

Official call general meeting 2019

Based on the bylaws of its constitutive, by means of this notice all members are summoned to a GENERAL MEETING which will take place at TASTE, Callejon de la Igualdad 129, Puerto Vallarta on February 16th, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. if required quorum can´t be reached, then a second call shall convene at 10:30 a.m. Find attached the oficial call.

Pilitas stairs update

At the end of Calle Pilitas, where it intersects with Pino Suarez, walkers can find a stairway that historically connected Amapas residents near the highway with neighbors on Pilitas and provided pedestrian access to the beach.

The stairs were destroyed during the construction of 212 Pilitas several years ago, and, despite the developer’s promises to neighbors, never rebuilt.

Last year ANA worked with neighbors, including the San Franciscan, Escondido and Cañada Romantica condominiums, to get City permission to rebuild the Pilitas Stairs.

Neighbors and ANA collected more than 200 signatures, in support of the project. ANA created a file that includes a topographic survey, renders, a floor plan, and an investigation through various City Hall departments.

ANA has done our work.  Now it is up to the City to do their part.  Currently ANA is waiting for a work permit to be issued.  Once secured, ANA will start a gofundme campaign to collect funds from the surrounding neighbors who will be benefit from this project.

Stay tuned!

SIGN THE PETITION: Save the Pilitas Stairs!

A proposed new seven-story condo tower at the end of Calle Pilitas, where it intersects with Pino Suarez (on paper, anyway) threatens the location of the stairway that historically connected Amapas residents near the highway with neighbors on Pilitas and provided pedestrian access to the beach.


The stairs were destroyed during the construction of 212 Pilitas several years ago and, despite the developer’s promises to neighbors, never rebuilt.

Now, ANA is working with neighbors, including the San Franciscan, Escondido and Canada Romantica condominiums, to get City permission to rebuild the Pilitas Stairs.  We need neighborhood residents’ signatures as proof that we care about the stairs and support their reconstruction.

Stop by the ANA office at 111/3 Rodolfo Gomez, in the Hotel San Marino – across from Barra Light and The Coffee Cup – and sign the petition!  
Call 322-223-8312 for more information.  Do it today!

Neighbors, residents tourists of Puerto Vallarta : Save our Calle Pilitas Stairway! Salvemos nuestro andador


A new cement sidewalk, complete with safety curb and slough wall, now runs along a stretch of Highway 200, across from Paramount Bay.

Despite the yellow warning tape, neighbors, renters and local workers were already walking on our fresh cement almost before it was dry.

Construction began on November 21, following a summer of torrential rains.  Our City crew, under the supervision of ANA Project Manager Fernando Hernandez, finished the work to highly professional standards on December 15.

Thanks to our generous contributors, we raised almost $100,000 pesos for Phase One. The funds were kept and accounted for separately, and a detailed financial report was sent to all contributors.
Total costs were $125,885.35 pesos, an overage of $28,445.45, much of which was the result of inflation during the summer due to increased gas prices. ANA covered the additional Phase One costs from its other funds.

The Vallarta Garden Club has agreed to help beautify our new sidewalk by planting and maintaining creeping vines behind the new slough wall.

Apparently, City Hall likes what we’ve done.  Public Works has already given us a verbal commitment to continue with Phase 2 ‘same time, next year’ …assuming we can raise the funds for materials and labor.

Fundraising for Phase 2 will begin soon


About two dozen ANA members gathered on November 8 for ANA’s Membership Consultation, hosted by Casa Cupula’s ‘Taste’ restaurant. The meeting provided an opportunity for members to ask questions, offer suggestions, raise neighborhood issues, and air complaints, so that Board members could get a better sense of what’s on members’ minds and what their priorities are.

Board members, along with ANA Administrator Viviana Teston, answered questions and took lots of notes. Among issues raised:

· Q: Mike Lyman wanted to know about the deteriorating condition of the Abedul stairs, which many residents and renters take from Hortensias down to Calle Amapas.

· A: This is a big, complicated project because the stairs are so old and so badly deteriorated, plus giant, invasive trees with giant, invasive roots, and many encroachments by neighors. ANA conducted a University Architectural Design Competition last year to find a good design starting point, but the closer we looked at the stairs, the bigger the problems and cost to repair. ANA is currently sponsoring the creation of an Executive Plan for Calle Pulpito, improving sidewalks, adding planters and street lights, and taking overhead wires underground. The object is to present the finished plan to City Hall for approval and execution. If successful, the Abedul Stairs will be our next Executive Plan initiative.

· Q: Richard Francisco complained about loud late-night truck braking on the highway near Paramont Bay – could topes help? Also, the Bomberos turn on their ambulance siren as they leave the Casita, even in the middle of the night, with no traffic. Can anything be done…?

· A: This is really a matter of Transito enforcement. Two or three years ago, at neighbors’ requests, ANA posted signs warning drivers NOT to downshift to slow their vehicles on the downgrade in the Paramount

Bay area, which is the practice that causes those loud, late-night ‘truck farts.’ No luck with the signs.

It’s unlikely that topes will help, but maybe make even more noise as cars and trucks encounter them in the middle of the night. We’ll discuss topes a little later. All ANA can really do is petition Transito to pay attention to the problem and maybe assign occasional patrols to stake out the area and ticket offenders. Frankly, we’re doubtful that this will become a police priority, but we can ask.

Regarding the Bomberos’ late-night sirens: we have a good relationship with them, and we will make a request. No promises.

· Q: Merv Prichard also said that truck airbrakes were a problem, and expressed concern about pedestrican safety at the Hortensias intersection crossing, and asked about the Highway Sidewalk Project.

· A: Your ANA Board has appropriated funds to repaint our highway crosswalks, topes, and the center-line, all the way to Basilio Badillo. Transito has agreed to do the painting, it’s just a matter of ‘when,’ and Viviana is bugging them regularly.

In Mexico, vehicles have the right of way, and it’s ‘pedestrian, beware.’ So Transito determined the placement of our five Amapas crosswalks, not for maximum pedestrian convenience, but for maximum visibility – so pedestrians could see vehicles coming, and vice-versa. Hopefully, repainting the crosswalks and the white warning stripes will help, but it will always pay to be on your toes.

The answer on a Highway Sidewalk start-date was, we’re working on it. City Hall has placed us ‘in the queue,’ and we’re waiting impatiently – maybe a couple more weeks. (Ed. Note: Phase One has since started, and, at this writing, is about a week away from completion.)

· Don Oxford expressed concern and asked for information on the risks to condo buildings, associations and owners when individual owners advertise their units for rent.

· A: This is an issue that has been simmering for years. We know from experience that SEAPAL (and probably other utilities) have been sniffing around for a couple of years, trying to ID individuals renting out their properties, which can make them ‘commercial,’ as opposed to strictly residential. In a situation where a building has multiple owners, but a single utility source and billing ID, theoretically, a single rental unit could trigger a re-designation of the entire building, leading to a higher rate for everybody, and more frequent billing.

Unregistered, and UNTAXED rental properties may also be facing a financial wakeup call, as Mexican governments at all levels become more able – and more motivated – to identify owners who are not reporting rental income…and not paying the taxes that go with it.

In order to fill the ‘information gap’ on this subject, ANA will be hosting a MEMBERS ONLY Presentation on Mexican taxes and other liabilities owners may face. The event is scheduled for Saturday, January 8, 2018, 11 AM at Encanto. We’ll be sending out invitations soon.

· Q: Someone asked about the sad state of the makeshift stairs that descend from Hortensias, at the north end of the bridge, to the Callejon – a longstanding ‘shortcut’ used by residents and workers to get up and down the hill.

· A: Two years ago, your ANA Board appropriated funds and hired workers to transform the old-tire stairs into a solid and safe all-weather cement block stairway, and even add a railing. Unfortunately, the owner of the property blocked us, pretended to negotiate a one-peso/year, revocable-by-her-at-any-time rental agreement to memorialize her uncontested rights to the property…and then stopped answering the phone: Dead end.

Considering the interest expressed, ANA will research with the Planning Department whether there is any way around this stalemate that will improve pedestrian safety without violating property rights.

· Highway Topes: Some neighbors want more, some want to make the ones we have at Callejon de la Igualdad go away forever.

· A: This is an ongoing balancing-act between public/pedestrian safety, and the ability to breeze along the highway unencumbered and carefree, not to mention not having to endure the bouncing.

And there´s no easy, One Size Fits All answer – someone will always be unhappy because there are too many – or too few – topes on our highway.

We’ll continue this conversation, and try to figure it out.

There was also a discussion about all the new condo towers springing up in downtown, aka Emiliano Zapata. The sense of the room (well, actually 100%) was that ANA should take a strong stand and do whatever it reasonably could to encourage responsible development that respects the neighborhood and the law, and discourage out-of-scale new construction.