Purujosa, the Zaragoza town located in the Aranda Region, is crowned as the town with the fewest inhabitants in the world whose traffic is regulated with traffic lights, as collected from the same municipality. On the hillside and surrounded by nature, the first traffic light opens the door to the town’s main avenue. A one-way route of just over 200 meters begins, at the end of which you can see the second and last traffic light, located in the Plaza Mayor.
The light signals came to Purujosa to change the lives of its neighbors. “There was a commotion because people were when one went up and the other went down,” recalls José Gómez, a resident of the municipality. The narrowness of the steep central street of this town complicates the maneuver when two vehicles converge at the same time. “There is not enough space for the one who goes up or down to give way to the other. They do not have the ability to maneuver,” explains the mayor of Purujosa, Mari Carmen Clemente.
Faced with this problem, the previous mayor of the municipality, Santiago San Martín, decided that Purujosa should have traffic lights. “Putting the traffic light is by pure logic. If not, two cars could collide head-on,” says Mari Carmen.
In this way, about twenty years ago, as the mayor says, a company located in Illueca was in charge of installing the traffic lights in the town where they have been since then, while another company from Zaragoza carried out the synchronization between them. To this day, it is the same company that installed them that takes care of their maintenance and time regulation.
Five minutes to cross Purujosa
Walking the main street takes about five minutes. The same time it will take for the traffic light to change color to be able to pass, in the case of choosing to go with a vehicle. If so, the traffic light waiting time must be respected. “He who does not respect him in the end is known,” says José Gómez. Since it is a one-way street, in the case of rushing the traffic light, it is possible to meet another car, having to maneuver one of them in reverse until the end of the street.
“The traffic light is timed so that there is enough time to travel both from bottom to top and from top to bottom,” says the mayor.
However, there are other causes that make it possible for two cars to meet on the road. Crossing with a neighbor or simply losing some time alters the rhythm of the traffic light. That is why everyone agrees on the importance of obeying him, something that is common in the Zaragoza municipality. “You have to respect the traffic light laws,” says Plácido Pérez, a resident of the town. And it is that the placement of these traffic lights, as Mari Carmen emphasizes, “avoids accidents within the circulation that exists”.
These two bright neighbors place Purujosa in the world after becoming the town with the fewest inhabitants whose traffic is regulated with traffic lights. This is something that attracts the most curious every year to this Aragonese municipality. “People find it curious, it catches their attention and they come,” says José Gómez. But without a doubt, this is not the only charm that Purujosa hides. Also known as “the eagles nest”, this town has a natural environment that can be traversed through different hiking routes.
In fact, one of them is included in the thirteen senderistas proposals launched a few months ago by the Zaragoza Provincial Council. It is the route of the Barrancos in Purujosa, which is signposted, has a circular route and links the Cuartún and La Virgen ravines through the Barrevinoso pass, allowing to know the landscapes of the large limestone grinding wheels located on the ravines.
The streets of the town also allow you to appreciate the flora and fauna that make up this landscape. As the residents of this Zaragoza municipality narrate, it is feasible to find an animal walking along the roads that host the old stone houses or other designated places such as the hermitage of the Virgin of Constantín or the church of El Salvador, located at the end of The main street. A walk that, in addition to being delimited by the famous traffic lights, allows you to contemplate, as if it were a viewpoint, the natural environment of this beautiful town.