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Another Reason to Not Live in San Jose, Costa Rica

Costa Rica News – I remember it was not too long ago I was living in the Heredia area located close to the Juan Santamaria airport.  At that time I was taking the bus and unless it was an absolute emergency I did not want to leave the confines of San Joaquin.  

costa rica trafficJust going to Heredia would be a 30 minute to hour trip depending on the time of day.  If a trip to San Jose centro was in order, I needed to basically just cross off most of an entire day of work to sit in traffic.  Whether on a bus which of course takes longer or if you have the joy of driving and spending over $5 a gallon in gas, traffic in the greater metropolitan area of San Jose is miserable.

These roads are not set up for the continuous construction, multiple accidents, and number of vehicles.  You would think that the license plate restriction would have some sort of effect but in many cases the families own more than one vehicle and on the days the one is restricted to go into San Jose the other is used.

The Minister of Housing, Guido Alberto Monge provided an interesting statistic. Those living in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) of San Jose, Costa Rica lose 15 days a year sitting in traffic, whether en route to school, work, or home. The traffic congestion is horrible.

Monge plans to formalize the implementation of GAM 2013, a plan that’s intended to create order in 31 urban countries, over the next 20 years. It’s Monge’s goal to implement this plan in San Jose, so that we won’t lose so many days in traffic in the future. A CID-Gallup representative explained that the program is going to develop more competitive cities.

75% of the energy consumption in Costa Rica comes from the Greater Metropolitan Area. Half of the population of the country lives in the GAM. For over 30 years, there has been a great need to organize this territory. One of the features of the plan is to create more vertical housing availability. The plan addresses housing and transportation needs in metropolitan cities.

For the proposal to pass, all 31 municipalities in the GAM must run regulatory plans. Their commitment to implement the plan is necessary. Leonardo Campos, the director of the National Union of Local Governments, tells us that only six of the municipalities have completed the stages required to approve the master plan.

The GAM is 3.84% of the national territory, yet home to 2.1 million people. By 2030, that number is expected to be 3.9 million inhabitants. There have been several failed attempts to organize the city. Of this plan, President Laura Chinchilla said that, “The formalization of the GAM Plan meets the administration’s commitment to contribute to the serious problem of land management.”

If you have the chance to not live in San Jose…..get out, get out quick!! Life at the beach or in the mountains of Costa Rica is more peaceful and will help you understand why the stress and frustrations of San Jose are not necessary.

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