domingo, 31 de octubre de 2010

The Battle for Seventh Avenue's Ciclovía Continues

Seventh Ave. Ciclovia - under threat?
Suddenly, it seems, the start of Transmilenio construction on Seventh Ave., scheduled for Dec. 28, is almost upon us - and we still don't know what that means for La Ciclovía's most important section. 

La Ciclovia is of course a Bogotá tradition and has been imitated (but never equaled) by many cities across North and South America. Of the hundreds of kilometers of streets which are closed to cars on Sundays and holidays, Seventh Ave. is by far the most important due to its popularity with users and because it passes many of the capital's most important historical and political landmarks, as well as parks and neighborhoods.

La Ciclovía is a big part of the reason why Bogotá is sometimes (mistakenly) ranked as one of the world's most bike-friendly cities.

However, La Ciclovia's most important section of  is now endangered by plans to expand the city's Transmilenio express bus system along Seventh. The Ciclovia route on 26th Street, which goes to the airport, was erased a year ago when the city began work on a TM line along that avenue. (Work there continues, apparently interminably, over budget and waaaay behind schedule.)

We don't object to TM expansion - today Seventh Ave. is chaotic and polluted. But we don't want to see this Bogotá tradition mortally wounded. Disappearance of Seventh Avenue's Ciclovia would not only hurt businesses like Bogotá Bike Tours, it would also deprive many thousands of bogotanos of their Sunday recreation and cut the incomes of the hundreds of mainly poor people who sell food and repair bicycles along Seventh Ave. every Sunday and Holiday.

We defenders of La Ciclovía are demanding that officials designate an alternate route during construction and that La Ciclovía return to its most important corridor once construction is completed.

La Ciclovía's defenders are planning a big march Nov. 14, Day of the Bicycle, from the National Park to Bolivar Square, demanding that La Ciclovía de la Septima be saved!!! Read more at: www.lacicloviaserespeta.com

Aristobulo, who repairs bikes near the National Park, and friends, show off invitations to the march!
Yolanda, who prepares food along La Ciclovia, and skateboarder friends go all out in defense of La Ciclovia!
Yolanda's flyer announcing the march to save La Ciclovia!

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