lunes, 26 de septiembre de 2011

Ride the City - Bogotá

A very nice Bogotá bike lane, this one connecting the National University to Simon Bolivar Park
Ride the City, a website which provides information for cyclists about routes, repair shops and destinations, now has a Bogotá page.

This provides another excuse for looking at the state of Bogotá's system of bike lanes, called ciclorutas

Bogotá's ciclorutas have received lots of criticism recently for deterioration and lack of connectivity. While those criticisms are somewhat true, I don't find their condition worse than that of many Bogotá streets, which is often poor. And, while it's true that the ciclorutas often don't connect, they do go to many places. However, poor design - many are on sidewalks, where they fill with pedestrians, or run alongside congested roads, forcing cyclists to swallow diesel fumes - and lack of civic culture: the ciclorutas get blocked by cars and handcarts, discourages cyclists from using them (or bicycling at all).

In addition, I'd understood that all new TransMilenio lines were to include ciclorutas, but that doesn't appear to be happening at least on Calle 26, which runs to the airport. Some other places, the opposite is happening.

Here, a look at the good and (mostly) the bad, the new and the old, of Bogotá's ciclorutas.

Bicyclists on Calle 26, which has no bike lane, despite plenty of space for a bike lane.
A cyclist winds his way between cars and buses on Calle 26.
Calle 26 further west, near Simon Bolivar Park. Before TransMilenio construction, the cicloruta ran down the middle of the avenue. I hope that they don't have the new cicloruta jump between the sidewalk and avenue's center, which will discourage use.
This avenue connects Calle 26, which had a good cicloruta and hopefully will again, to Simon Bolivar Park, which is popular with bicyclists. So, I've never comprehended why this avenue lacks a cicloruta, despite plenty of space. (Photo taken during a Sunday Ciclovia, when the avenue is closed to cars. The rest of the week it's hazardous.)
In the Los Martires district cyclists ride in the street despite the presence of a cicloruta, which is just lines painted on a sidewalk.
The city put lots of money into these 200 meters of cicloruta, which are even protected by walls. The designers didn't consider that this would make the lane a convenient waiting and vending area for the nearby hospital, making it unusable for cyclists.
Carrera 3, in the Las Nieves area. The sidewalk used to have a cicloruta painted on it, but it disappeared during TransMilenio construction.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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