Three developments with 400 flats are under construction in Son Rapinya, Palma. The current residents of the area are concerned about what the new properties will mean for traffic. Marisa Bonache, president of the Son Rapinya residents association, reckons they could mean an additional 600 cars a day coming in and going out of the area. There is already high traffic density, and the volume of vehicles is especially apparent during the school-runs. There are a number of schools, some of them quite large. The 400 flats, she believes, will inevitably lead to traffic congestion.
Bonache is critical of the town hall. It has no plans in place to deal with the additional traffic. There was a meeting with the transport department a few months ago at which the issue was highlighted. The department said that the new flats were an urban planning matter.
José Hila, the former mayor who is now in charge of the planning department, says that the developments are covered by the town hall's general urban plan. Under the plan there was no provision for new streets to serve them. However, the plan is currently undergoing revision, so now is the time to consider whether new streets will be necessary. Were there to be, then some expropriation would be required. This said, there is not much space available to create new streets.
Hila is putting his faith in public transport providing an alternative to cars. He admits that Palma does not at present have a particularly good transport system. The current administration is working towards achieving this, but only so much has been possible since it came into office in 2015.