Feb. 4 was Bogotá's annual Car-Free Day, a decade-old tradition. It's one of the few cities to have such an event. Car-Free Day's goal is primarily to demonstrate to auto-addicts that they CAN get to work or school by means other than the private automobile (or taxis, which abounded). Yesterday, congestion dropped dramatically and carbon monoxide 43 percent, but the many old buses meant that pollution continued.
Unfortunately, since car-free day is only one day, many car owners simply postpone things until the day after, producing more congestion on Feb. 5. The city should rather have such days weekly or monthly, so that it becomes a custom rather than an oddity. Bogotá's pico y placa law prohibits cars from circulating two days each week, according to the last digit on their license plates. However, the rule also promotes the purchasing of second, often used, cars. The best solution by far would be a London-style congestion tax.
This blog is written by Mike Ceaser, of Bogota Bike Tours