miércoles, 25 de abril de 2012

More Bike Lanes for Bogotá?

Studying a map of proposed bicycle lanes in the IDU this morning. 
A cyclist steers around pedestrians on a
sidewalk bike lane in central Bogotá.
The administration of Mayor Gustavo Petro, who recently said that pedestrians should have top transit priority, followed by cyclists, then public transit and then finally private cars, has proposals to build close to 200 kms of new bicycle lanes. At a meeting this morning in the Urban Development Institute (IDU), officials said they're studying some 185 kms of new bike lanes and evaluating whether they'd be on sidewalks, as many existing lanes are, or on streets, as the mayor has proposed.

Each design has problems: Many sidewalk lanes consist of little more than stripes painted on the pavement and cyclists have to dodge pedestrians, potholes and delivery vehicles. But if the lanes are in the street, cyclists will have to battle cars and motorcycles, which will certainly not respect cyclists' territory. And, it puts cyclists in the direct aim of exhaust pipes connected to motors burning dirty fuel and lacking pollution controls.

The sort sidewalk 'cicloruta,' or bike lane, which we don't need. 
What happens when bike lanes are in the street: This truck found this bike lane to be a good place to park. 
Two of the streets proposed for new bike lanes are Carrera Septima and Calle 19.

Ave. Septima might have room for a bike lane, particularly if the city builds a light rail line down its middle. 
But where would a bike lane fit on Calle 19?
And how many cyclists would dare to ride up the street behind smoke-spouting vehicles like these?

I made these two videos today, in a period of about twenty minutes - and they were only two of many smog belching vehicles I saw.

Priorities for cyclists? On 19th a cyclist waits for a long time for a chance to cross.
Finally, he grabs a chance to cross. 
Once across, he continues on the sidewalk. 
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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