A new policy plans to reduce traffic in Microcentro and make it more suitable for pedestrians. Photo via Plans Subject To Change.

How many times have you walked around Microcentro and had to practically climb your way over a line of cars blocking your passage across the road? Well, a new measure is hoping to improve pedestrians’ ability to move (and keep them out of Porteño drivers’ harm’s way) by decreasing the number of vehicles circulating around the area.

How will it do this?

A new electronic recognition system has been set up in the area, by which a series of cameras are monitoring traffic by snapping pictures of vehicles and their license plates, and verifying in real time whether those license plates have the correct authorization to circulate around Microcentro.

Effective today, anyone driving around Microcentro between 11 AM and 4 PM during a weekday without the correct authorization will be fined AR$650.

For those of you who actually drive, it’s not as big of a deal as it seems. The parameter affected isn’t too big and there are only five hours in the afternoon you have to worry about.

The new policy will be implemented inside the outline of Avenida de Mayo, Leandro N. Alem Córdoba and 9 de Julio. If you’re having trouble picturing that zone like I was, check out the map below. 

The outline of where the new electronic permits are required. Photo via buenosaires.gob.

But what does this mean for the rest of us who walk and take colectivos everywhere? Mainly, Microcentro won’t be as stressful to walk around since less cars are likely to be moving about.

According to a press release from the City, “This measure allows for more effective controls of restricted entrance to the area, contributes to a Microcentro with less cars and more space for pedestrians and improves road security conditions for the million people who transit here daily.”

You can register for a permit to be able to drive around Microcentro here. All you need is to own or rent out a space in a parking garage in the area and pay an annual fee of AR$1,000.

According to the City’s press release, drivers will no longer have to display permits on their windshields (since that was always a big hassle) and not as many transit officers will be needed in the area, allowing them to go watch over other parts of the city.

But this new policy won’t affect anyone on motorcycle, taxi, emergency vehicle or public service vehicle. Other miscellaneous vehicles not affected include funeral cars, bank cars, tow trucks and newspaper trucks.