jueves, 2 de febrero de 2012

Car-Free Day is Not Bicycles Day

A cyclists carries his son on 13th St., which was wonderfully uncongested today. 
Today was Bogotá's annual Car-Free Day, intended to get auto-addicts to think about new ways to get around.

Cyclists use a bike lane
near Jorge Tadeo University.
One of those ways is cycling. Disappointingly, however, I didn't see a whole lot more cyclists than usual. Here are photos of a few of them.

This bike lane behind the Central
Cemetery was blocked by four
of these carts in one block's distance. 
Cyclist vs. TransMilenio.
A bicyclist crosses a street near Jorge Tadeo University. 
At the Universidad Central, the parking lot attendants told me that about 80 people had arrived by bike - some eight times the usual number. However, that was probably partly because the university organized a bike ride out to some wetlands. At the neighboring Universidad Jorge Tadeo, the parking lot attendants said that 23 cyclists had arrived - only a few more than 15 people who normally pedal to campus. And, they added, the number had plummeted from the more than 50 who pedaled to campus during last year's Car-Free Day. All of this despite the fact that the university sent out an e-mail reminding people that free bike parking was available. (Bicycles park free there every day, in fact.)

What could the city do to get more folks onto bicycles, at least this one day? How about bike lanes right down the middle of major avenues? How about public bicycles, at least for one day?

Traffic actually moves at rush hour in central Bogotá. Ordinarily, at this hour of the evening this street is a traffic jam. 

Cycling thru the usually congested and chaotic streets of the Santa Fe neighborhood. 
A flooring company uses the 'Car-Free Day' - right beside a car advertisement. 

Universidad Jorge Tadeo's uncrowded bicycle parking lot. 
At the Universidad Central they set up two extra racks for bikes. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogota Bike Tours

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