|Traffic police and raised tope on Rueda Medina in centro|
There are the raised yellow-and-white striped crosswalks, one of the few places in Mexico where the pedestrians have the right-of-way. These are usually near schools, or busy areas such as the original exit from the passenger ferry terminal on Isla Mujeres. Usually these topes are controlled by traffic police using hand gestures and several sharp notes of a whistle to snag the attention of drivers distracted by Smartphones, selfie-sticks, or bikini-clad tourists. Afternoons on Rueda Medina can be bedlam with visitors disgorging from tour boats and passenger ferries. The combination of well-marked crosswalks and traffic police reduce the number of close encounters of the painful kind, between people and vehicles.
Then there are the normal topes, the narrow, recycled-rubber contraptions that are bolted to
the pavement. These hard bits of latex
can give drivers a nice back-shaking jolt when crossing. The good thing about this style of tope is
they are visible even on rainy nights as their distinctive yellow and black
stripes are part of the rubber compound, not just painted on the surface.
|Topes slow down the speeders - a little|
|Hand-made tope sign on right|
A nasty unpainted bump is located on the south-western side of the island, near the horse coral, and across the street from the construction site for a new house. Rubber-necking the progress of the new-build is guaranteed to give you a sharp thump of surprise when driving on this stretch of road. I’ve done it so many times the construction crew cheers when I actually remember to slow down and traverse the tope at a crawl. Driving past the crew this morning they pointed at a recently installed hand-made tope warning sign. That was good for a chuckle, and a photo.
|Moto pathway through tope|
In that same stretch of road near the never-completed Unik Hotel (Unique) is a series of half-sphere metal bumps. There is no easy way to cross these teeth-rattling orbs, unless you happen to be riding a moto. Someone has thoughtfully removed a bump, one each side of the road, creating a pathway for a narrow wheel. Experienced moto-drivers give a little hip waggle, dodging to the right and then left, whizzing away.
|Doesn't look that bad - but our Mini scrapes on this one|
|Moto slowing for unmarked and unpainted tope|
|Snoozing in paradise|
Keep your eyes peeled for these guys. They are just enjoying a nap on their little piece of island paradise.
Lynda & Lawrie