I have lived now in Santiago for exactly 4 years. I was riding down the Apoquindo on my bicycle this morning, from Manquehue to Tobalaba. I was thinking how rapidly things are changing in this country.
Just in this area of Santiago major projects were constructed since I arrived:
- Reconstruction of the Crossing Manquehue with Apoquindo, Manquehue now underground.
- 5 km extension of Linea 1 subway with state of the art Metro Stations
- New underground shopping center at Escuela Militar Subway Station
- At least 10 new Office and Apartment Towers around Apoquindo
- New Bus System Transantiago initially screwed up but now working fine
- Junk yards have been converted to parks
- … and further down from Tobalaba a new sewage treatment system has been installed along the Mapocho River
All this during the global financial crisis and whilst the country was hit by one of the strongest earthquakes ever.
I moved a kilometer from the Apoquindo-Manquehue intersection almost a year ago, a few days after the new metro station was opened. The project was an improvement, but the bus stop is a long walk from the underground. It feels like the owners of the Apumanque Mall paid for the construction, as bus riders must walk past their business. It reminds me of Vegas, where customers always traverse the casino on the way to any destination.
I’m happy that Chileans care about growing the economy and I prefer Chile to profligate countries incurring high debt to wage war or support welfare states; a California friend a few days ago sent the following:
We repeat our hopes of last year that the economic challenges we face are soon eased, and that resolutions will be found to the conflicts in our world.