lunes, 26 de octubre de 2009

When a Bike Rack is Not a Rack for Bikes

When it's near a police station. This thing sure looks like a bike rack, with those curved pipes alongside each other. And it's near a police station, which is great in a city with a crime problem like Bogotá. But it's beside a police station, and when we asked, even begged, to park my bike there for an hour they just said 'prohibido!'. Even when I offered to show my I.D. and explained that I had a meeting i the neighboring Universidad de los Andes. Why? because it's near a police station - and that's the law in Colombia. Why leave the rack near the police station at all, then? I asked. No answer. Maybe they're afraid that if they move the rack away it'll get stolen.

This blog is written by Mike Ceaser, of Bogota Bike Tours

Carlos Pardo, representative of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), argues in an opinion column in El Tiempo that Bogotá needs to expand its cycle path network, improve parking and take other measures in order to once again become a leader in cycle-friendliness. 

Speaking of cycle lanes, look at the one on above - you can just glimpse the yellow line between the two trucks parked in the cycle lane, behind the kid flipping me off. Of course, I'm not sure where else the trucks could park to make their deliveries. The fault is really the designer's.

Cali Cyclists Rally!

Cyclists in the city of Cali rode thru the streets the other day demanding clean air and more bike routes. Hear, hear!

domingo, 11 de octubre de 2009

It's Time to Save Bogotá's Ciclovia Once Again!

Last year, we collected signatures, lobbied politicians and mobilized public opinion and defeated a senator's very bad idea to shut down the Ciclovia two hours early, removing its afternoon hours. ( 

For those who don't know, the Ciclovía is a unique and wonderful Bogotá phenomenon. The city shuts down a network of major avenues and many thousands of people turn out to bicycle, jog, walk, skate - really anything. There are mass public aerobic classes, free music, street artists, flea markets and sellers of all kinds. It's a wonderful, unique, spontaneous and very healthy and human happening. ( 

Now, a new threat has appeared, a result of the city's plans to extend the Transmilenio express bus system along Seventh Ave. Seventh Ave. is chaotic, polluted and inefficient, with thousands of old diesel buses belching along, so building a more efficient transit system there can only be an improvement (altho which is the best option is arguable).

However, the problem is that when they started Transmilenio construction along 26th St., which leads to the airport, they removed the Ciclovia from that Ave., at least temporarily.

The Seventh is one of Bogotá's most famous avenues, and certainly its most emblematic one, since it runs past the presidential palace and Plaza de Nariño, as well as important parks and many neighborhoods. Removing Seventh Ave. from the Ciclovía would be a fatal blow. It would lose its prominence in the city and thousands of users would lose access to it.

We're demanding that the Ciclovia of the Seventh be preserved. We also want to be certain that after Transmilenio is operating on Seventh Ave. the Ciclovia will still be there, even though there will be one less lane for cars.

This blog is written by Mike Ceaser of Bogota Bike Tours

domingo, 4 de octubre de 2009

Today's El Tiempo newspaper published a report on the proliferation of 'bicycles' equipped with gasoline-powered motors. These are simply small motorcycles, they have no pollution controls and shouldn't be on either the Ciclovia or the Ciclorutas. We're not talking about quiet, non-polluting electric bikes here. In Chile, they're called 'mosquitos', and cyclists are compaigning against them. Could be that these things have their place, but they need to be regulated and controlled.

This blog is maintained by Mike Ceaser, owner of Bogota Bike Tours.

Save Bogotá's Ciclovia!!!

There's a new threat to the world-famous Ciclovia! The city is advancing with plans to build a TransMilenio line on 7th Ave. Rational transit on 7th will be a big improvement over the existing chaotic and ancient private buses. However, 7th Ave. is also the heart of La Ciclovia, and if they shut it during construction (as they have on 26th St.) the Ciclovia will be but a shadow of itself. 

The city could either let the Ciclovia continue using the 7a, perhaps with a few temporary detours, or shift it to a neighboring avenue, such as 13th Ave. 

Let's not let the Ciclovia die!

This blog is created by Mike Ceaser, owner of Bogota Bike Tours, in Bogotá, Colombia