martes, 1 de enero de 2013

Bogotá's Missing Bike Lane - and Missing Bike Planning

 Bicyclists share the road with cars on Carrera 60, which leads to Parque Simon Bolivar.

Carrera 60 has plenty of room for adding a bike lane.
Simon Bolivar Park is Bogotá's biggest green area and very possibly the city's most popular destination for cyclists.

The 26th Street Cicloruta is the city's longest, newest and undoubtedly its most expensive bike lane.

But, altho 26th St. passes within a kilometer of the park, Carrera 60, which connects the two, lacks a bike lane - altho it has ample space to build one.

Why? You'll have to ask the geniuses at City Hall who design these things.
A map of Simon Bolivar Park and some nearby bike lanes.
Sure, you can get to Simon Bolivar Park by bike. One of the city's nicest bike lanes, called Ciclorutas, connects it to the National University along Calle 53 - which begs the question even more strongly why the 26th St. bike lane isn't connected to the park.

And, Carrera 60 connects to Calle 26, with its newly-rebuilt
lane for bikes.
My hunch is that this is the result of the tangle of city entities - parks, transit, the Institute for Urban Development and others, all sticking their fingers into bike lanes planning. And, at least in the past, they did so without the benefit of input from cyclists (altho that may finally be changing). 

Racks for dozens of bicycles in Renacimiento Park,
but I've never seen more than a few bikes here.
Who decided that a 100 cyclists would all want to park
together in this small public park? 
For an even more dramatic example of zany cycle planning, check out this photo of these dozens - or are they hundreds? - of vacant bike parking racks in Renacimiento Park. I took the photo on the New Year's Day holiday while Ciclovia was happening on 26th St., just yards away. I've never seen more than two or three bicycles in this sea of racks (and the park has a second, albeit smaller, equally unused bike rack at its other entrance).

Meanwhile, many important destinations, such as government buildings, banks, supermarkets and many TransMilenio bus stations have no bike parking at all.

Half of Calle 60 does get shut to cars during La Ciclovia, on Sundays and holidays.
A boy bicycles in Simon Bolivar Park. 

A girl bicycles in Simon Bolivar Park. Would she risk sharing a street with cars?
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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