The Sidewalks of São Paulo: The Paulista Gets a Botox Injection


Decorative mosaic, Conjunto Nacional (1958) office block and shopping mall, Avenida Paulista at R. Consolação, São Paulo, Brazil.

Augusta,
Graças a deus,
Entre você e a Angélica
Eu encontrei a Consolação
Que veio olhar por mim
E me deu a mão.
–Tom Zé

Trecho da Paulista ficará interditado por 60 dias: A section of the Avenida Paulista — what passes for the local equivalent of Sixth Avenue around Rockefeller Center, except for that exhilirating whiff of teargas in the air — will be blocked off for 60 days, here in São Paulo. G1 (Globo) reports.

As faixas da direita nos dois sentidos da Avenida Paulista ficarão bloqueadas por cerca de 60 dias entre as ruas Augusta e Consolação para realização de obras de revitalização. A interdição começou às 10h deste domingo (6). A orientação da Companhia de Engenharia de Tráfego (CET) é que o motorista evite trafegar pela região.

The right-hand lane in both directions of the Avenida Paulista will be blocked for nearly 60 days between Augusta and Consolação during a renovation project. The blockage started at 10am on Sunday. The traffic engineering agency (CET) advised drivers to avoid the area.

Previous newsflow on how this might affect us:

The Folha has a more general story today to the effect that the mayor is initiating 80 public works projects “in an undeclared bid to make his reelection politically viable.”

Antes, a CET havia informado que o bloqueio seria entre as ruas Ministro Rocha Azevedo e Consolação. Nesta manhã, técnicos modificaram o trecho, mas a empresa não soube explicar por quê.

Previously, the CET had reported that the blockage would occur between Minister Rocha Azevedo and Consolação. Technicians changed the stretch of avenue to be worked on this morning, but the CET was unable to explain why.

O projeto “Nova Paulista” visa a revitalizar as calçadas, o paisagismo e os canteiros centrais. Serão refeitos, ao todo, 50 mil metros quadrados de calçadas. Também é parte do projeto a melhoria das travessias de pedestres que serão ampliadas de 16 para 20 e reposicionadas a cerca de 30 metros dos cruzamentos.

The “New Paulista” project aims to revitalize sidewalks, landscaping and the median strip. In all, 50,000 square meters of sidewalk will be replaced. Also part of the project is the replacement of pedestrian crosswalks, which will be widened from 16 to 20 [meters?] and repositioned about 30 meters from intersections.

Overheard in a cheap boteco on the subject recently (I translate loosely): “I would rather live in a butt-ugly city where things actually work than in a pretty one where nothing does.”

Overheard from a number of taxi drivers about the “Clean City” projects of the current city administration: [unquotable on the family-oriented Internets.]

It is too bad that Xico Sá and Xico Vargas are no longer writing their columns in the late, lamented no mínimo on the subject of urban cosmetic surgery. Previous entries:

If I ever dream of the winning bicho combination — not that I play the numbers, mind you — I am writing no mínimo a big, fat anonymous check, no strings attached — tell them it is Chico Xavier, giving them a hand from the Other Side — to start publishing again.

The Estado de S. Paulo recently ran a significant coverage package recently on the incumbent mayor, who is standing for reelection — and whose brother owns a construction company, and heads new projects for the Metrô authority, last I heard.

A contemporary press release announcing that fact:

O prefeito de São Paulo, Gilberto Kassab (DEM), decidiu mudar a cúpula do transporte coletivo, área responsável por contratos com viações de ônibus e perueiros que superam R$ 3 bilhões ao ano e que teve rejeição de 51% dos moradores na última pesquisa Datafolha.

São Paulo mayor Kassab decided to change the leadership of the public transportation sector, responsible for contracts with bus lines and perueiros that exceed R$3 billion per year and were unpopular with 51% of residents in the last Datafolha poll.

Titular da Secretaria dos Transportes desde 2005, Frederico Bussinger, que atualmente acumulava a presidência da SPTrans, será substituído nos dois cargos a partir de sexta-feira por Alexandre de Moraes, advogado filiado ao partido de Kassab e que foi secretário de Estado da Justiça e presidente da Febem no governo Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB).

The Secretary of Transportation since 2005, Bussinger, who currently also heads SPTrans, will be replaced in both posts by Alexandre de Moraes, an attorney affiliated with Kassab’s political party who was state justice secretary and president of the State Foundation for the Benefit of Minors (FEBEM) under Governor Alckmin (PSDB).

FEBEM, denounced for torture by Human Rights Watch in 2007 — again.

Outras intervenções no setor já tinham sido iniciadas há alguns meses, com a ascensão de técnicos que trabalharam na gestão Celso Pitta (1997-2000), parte dos quais com relacionamento próximo de dois irmãos do prefeito -Marcos Kassab, hoje diretor do Metrô, e Pedro Kassab, um dos principais consultores das viações de ônibus.

Other shake-ups in the sector began some months ago with the promotion of technicians from the Pitta administration (1997-2000), some of them with close ties to two of the mayor’s brothers: Marcos Kassab, today a board member of the Metrô authority, and Pedro Kassab, a leading bus transportation consultant.

On the Maluf-Pitta administration, see also

The Estado cites Kassab’s strong momentum in the polls, and reported that his beautification project was by far the most popular of his programs.

The numbers were somewhat fuzzy, however — “least unpopular” might have been an equally fair characterization of the hard numbers, I thought — and there is a quite a dueling opinion poll scenario developing on that question, as the Folha ombudsman noted ironically a week or so back.

I should translate that for you.

The municipal elections next year should be extremely interesting to watch. Usual suspects might well get rounded up in industrial batches. Polls will be pushed. See

Legitimate local businessman Oscar “$1,000 Elephant-Ear Boots” Maroni has vowed to oppose Gilberto Kassab, who had him locked up in the garish incident that generated the NMM South American bar joke of the year:

200 people die in an aviation disaster, and who do they arrest? The guy who owns the whorehouse.

On whom see

See also


“What is the greatest pride of the São Paulo resident today?” Top answer: “Stick a fork in it, this sucker is done.” Second: “Cultural ferment and bohemia.” Third: “The power of money.” Fourth: “The Mayor’s Clean City law.”

The Folha:

No total, serão ao menos 80 obras de janeiro até final de março –quase uma por dia–, incluindo 58 AMAs (assistências médicas ambulatoriais), sete CEUs (centros educacionais unificados), canalizações de córregos, recuperação de viadutos, urbanizações de favelas e casas populares.

In all, at least 80 public-works projects will be run in the first quarter — nearly one per day — including 58 walk-in medical clinics, 7 education centers, construction of channels for creeks, renovation of overpasses, urbanization of shantytowns and public-housing construction.

O prefeito tem pressa porque disputa com Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) o direito de concorrer à prefeitura pela aliança PSDB-DEM. A estratégia de Kassab é rodar toda a cidade deixando a sua marca com pequenas obras.

The mayor is in a hurry because he is competing with former governor Alckmin for the PSDB-DEM nomination for mayor. His strategy is to travel around the city leaving his mark with small public-works projects.

Na última pesquisa Datafolha, no fim de novembro, Alckmin está em primeiro lugar, em empate técnico com a provável candidata do PT, a ministra Marta Suplicy. O tucano tem de 26% a 30% das intenções, dependendo do cenário. Kassab, de 13% a 22%. A margem de erro é de três pontos percentuais.

In the last Datafolha poll in late November, Alckmin was in first, in a technical tie with the likely PT candidate, Tourism Minister Marta Suplicy.

A former mayor who lost to the current governor in her reelection bid.

… Kassab had 13% to 22% of the intentions to vote, depending on the scenario. …

And depending on the pollster. The “dueling opinion polls” effect — lies, damned lies, and South American political market research — is notable.

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