SANTIAGO – A planned station entrance for Santiago Metro’s new Line 7 is facing opposition. The entrance is slated for Parque Forestal and many are concerned the entrance will damage this unique space. Alternative entrances have been suggested, but none are being considered.
The National Monument Council has asked the Santiago Metro to look for a different location for the new Line 7 entrance to Baquedano station that is planned for Parque Forestal.
The technical secretary of the Council, Edwin Brevis, told Cooperativa, “Parque Forestal, an official national monument of the ‘traditional zone’ category, is one of the most important examples of a style of city-building where not only a place full of unique beauty was created for the leisure of the people of Santiago, but it opened up a space for a large number of public monuments.”
— Metro de Santiago (@metrodesantiago) September 12, 2018
Objections Raising Environmental Concerns
The Metro’s current plan, however, does not even seem to consider the environmental impact of the new Line 7 station.
As a result, many are concerned that the station’s construction will damage the vegetation of the park, especially because it is one of the few green areas left in the city center.
Neighbors have also objected to the location of the new Metro entrance. The leader of the Parque Forestal Advancement Committee told La Tercera that construction for the new Metro line will “severely affect the trees and the German Fountain; we think that the entrance should be located in Recoleta, because the flow of people goes towards Bellavista.”
Santiago Councilwoman Irací Hassle released a report via Twitter that presents an alternative that does just that, put the entrance in Recoleta. In her tweet, Hassler mentions that there is “good news: it is viable, it requires an additional 6 months and 18 MMUSD [sic].”
The Chairman of the Santiago Metro, Louis de Grange, defended the current plan. He claimed that the “Metro has historically intervened in heritage areas such as Central Station, Mapocho Station and the same for Parque Forestal in Cal y Canto.” In these areas, he added, there were not any issues as people suggest there will be in this case.
The Reach of Santiago Metro Line 7
The new Line 7 will connect Renca to Las Condes and Vitacura. The 26 km route will have 19 stations throughout the communes of Cerro Navia, Quinta Normal, Santiago, and Providencia.
Construction is expected to begin Sept. 1, 2020 and will be completed in 2027.
According to the Metro’s official website, the new line will benefit over 1.35 million residents of Santiago.
Ana Truesdale is a British student, studying Liberal Arts at Durham Univeristy, who is currently interning at Chile Today on her year abroad. She has a strong interest in Latin American culture and journalism and wishes to experience all that Chile has to offer.