In Mijas village there is a strong debate about the latest decision of the Town Hall to restrict traffic in the town by prohibiting entry of non-resident vehicles.
Most merchants and neighbors are against the measure and have requested reinstatement.
It is always difficult to please everyone, and especially when changing customs. This is what happened in Mijas Pueblo about a month ago when government team decided to prohibit the passage of vehicles of non residents in the old town.
The philosophy of this initiative, as stated by the mayor of the town, Angel Nozal, on several occasions, is to gradually pedestrianize the center where every day hundreds of tourists pass.
However, this idiosyncrasy is not shared, at least for now, by most residents and businesses of Mijas village.
Some, like Manuel Morillo, have noticed a decline in sales of his craft business, located on Avenida Virgen de la Peña, he firmly believes that many tourists flocking to the town come in their own car and when they see they can not park, they simply turn around and leave.
"It's normal. When you get to a town and see it is prohibited to enter and the only option is paid parking you go back,"says the seller.
Isabel Burgos, who runs a gift and souvenirs shop on Avenida Compass , shares his view and stated ."Before, the cars passing through here saw exhibitors, and once parked they came back looking for me. Now I feel I have lost that form of marketing"
Jesus Sanchez, a hairdresser who has a business in Calle Carril says that he is not much affected "because my clients are walking" but he feels that "there is much less people in town."
Those most affected, as the traders themselves point out, are the owners of supermarkets and those with stalls in the municipal market.
Francisco Cortes has a meat stall and believes that The Mayor, Angel Nozal, has been wrong to implement this measure. "The measure itself is good. In fact, we have ourselves, raised the point with the Mayor. But I do not understand why we have not been informed or consulted and have been fined, in some cases as much as 300 euros".
Francisco says an employee who comes to work at the market every day from Alhaurin El Grande, was fined 300 euros for parking in the old town shortly after restriction was implemented.
Also many of his customers come from Valtocado or Osunillas and can not get to Mijas Pueblo without a car and have opted to go elsewhere.
"Many People living in Mijas are elderly whose children live elsewhere. If they have to take them to the doctor, for example, will they also also be fined? "He asks.
But some are in favor of restricting traffic;
Luis Dominguez, manager of several craft shops in Mijas Pueblo, believed it to be a breakthrough for the urban center. "Today cars still drive through the historic center, for years I've been claiming it is a hazard because of so many tourists in the narrow streets, "he says.
The signs themselves seem to be confusing as all traffic misses the first sign at Avenida de la Peña junction and proceed to Plaza de Paz where all chaos breaks out with cars trying to turn around in the small square. this has been the scene of three accidents in the last week, the worst ended in an elderly lady having her armed crushed against a wall whilst trying to direct her husband who was trying to turn around!
This initiative has not been very well thought out and the town hall might do well to listen to recommendations of Local organizations such as the Merchants' Association who have asked Nozal that the public parking be made free.