domingo, 5 de septiembre de 2010

Bogotá's Ciclovia Goes Global!

Thirty five years ago a group of Bogotá bicyclists managed to persuade city authorities to shut down several blocks of streets for them to ride around on Sundays.

Seventh Ave. Ciclovia in Bogotá
Today, that Ciclovia stretches more than 120 kms and  every Sunday and most holidays attracts thousands of participants, who turn out on skates, bikes, wheelchairs and on foot. Many call it the world's longest street party. And ex-Mayor Enrique Peñalosa says it's the only time that bogotanos of different classes mix on a fairly equal basis.

Another impressive thing has been happening: In recent years, with greater international concern about the need for doing physical activity, as well as a growing realization that car culture is killing our cities and their residents, the Ciclovia concept has been spreading - first across Colombia, then the continent, and then the globe.

Quito, Ecuador's Ciclopaseo
As far as I've heard, no other Ciclovia equals the dimensions or the frequency of Bogotá's Ciclovia, which occupies some of the capital's most important avenues. Perhaps the most ambitious outside Colombia is Quito Ecuador's Ciclopaseo, which runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday during the dry season and every other Sunday during the rainy season.

Some cities have staged one- or two-time Ciclovias, while numerous U.S. cities have established apparently regular events, often called 'Summer Streets' or 'Sunday Streets.' The concept has been embraced even in some redneck, not-hippy places such as Montana, North Carolina and Winnipeg, Canada.

In many of the cities, drivers have pressured to have the Ciclovias cut back - even though the Ciclovias occupy a small proportion of city streets, and generally only during the hours of least traffic.

Let a million Ciclovias roll!

Here's a list of websites about some international Ciclovias:

London, England:

    US Cities: 

Missoula, Montana

San Francisco, Ca.

Oakland, Ca.—oakland’s-own-sunday-streets/

New York City:

Seattle, Wa

San Jose, Ca.

Miami, Florida 

Portland, Or.

     Winnipeg, Canada

This blog written by Mike Ceaser of Bogota Bike Tours 

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