Just Click: Passing the Pasarelas
|Typical pasarela in San Salvador.|
I am maybe a little bit obsessed with pasarelas. This is the second time I am writing exclusively about pasarelas. My husband thinks I am weird because I take pictures of pasarelas while we are driving, and I have been known to stimulate our car conversation with an enthusiastic "Rats, I missed it! Did you see that pasarela?"
My husband's response is usually a dull, "What?" as I twist myself around toward the rear window to try to grab a picture of a flight of pasarela stairs as we whiz by.
|Typical flight of stairs up to a pasarela.|
For those who may not know, "pasarelas" are pedestrian bridges which cross over busy roadways. Why do I notice them? I am a sort of nerdy engineer-type, but mostly, I think it's because Salvadoran pasarelas are almost by nature, ridiculous. A few weeks ago, I mentioned to my husband that I might write another pasarela story. I think he said "whatever" or "why" and clearly did not show enthusiasm.
A few days later, a friend came over for dinner, and in the course of our pre-dinner chit chat, we ended up talking about pasarelas (as friends naturally do). When I mentioned that I have some new pasarela photos and was thinking of writing a pasarela update, my friend was 100% behind that idea. Then she shared a crazy story of how she was taking pictures of a particularly amazing pasarela and ended up driving down a flight of stairs (which, to be clear, was not a road). Yeah, that's pretty extreme. But the pasarela in question really is somewhat epic.
|The multi-segment pasarela at the Masferrer roundabout. |
(Scene of the stairs incident.)
The traditional pasarela construction design consists of flights of stairs on either end of a footbridge which spans the width of the roadway. The idea is to provide the pedestrian with a safe way in which to cross busy streets, especially where the traffic is heavy, moves at a high rate of speed or where barriers impede the crossing of the roadway at street level. On most roads, the height of the pasarela is made to accommodate truck traffic, so the number of stairs which pedestrians need to climb can be substantial, as illustrated in the classic pasarela photo below.
|Pasarela located on Constitution Ave, in the area sometimes called Calle de Oro.|
From the rickety, rusty pasarelas in Ciudad Delgado to the massive concrete pasarela bastions along the highway, pasarelas have one purpose: to make it safer (which does not mean easier) to cross El Salvador's busy thoroughfares. Most pasarelas have stairs, lots and lots and lots of stairs.
|New pasarela on the Carretera Litoral|
|Check out these ramps on the pasarela on the new highway to La Libertad.|
|The yellow paint adds a nice aesthetic touch|
|The traditional-style pasarela in Apopa|
|The new pasarela in Apopa - connecting Plaza Mundo with the parking area.|
Mall and business pasarelas typically have functioning elevators.
For folks who rely on the buses and their feet to get to where they need to be, pasarelas can be helpful. But for people who struggle to walk or use a wheeled device for themselves or their family, pasarelas are not helpful. Realistically, most pasarelas are pretty useless, and pretty ridiculous. Most people pass them by.
|Check out the ramp on this pasarela on the exit to El Congo.|
|See the stairs? This is the same pasarela as the previous one|
and is one of the few which has a combined ramp and stair design.
I promise, this is the last pasarela pic.
Well, until I see something really, really ridiculous.