The city government has plastered central Bogotá (at least) with these posters announcing the pluses of bicycling.
"I enjoy the clouds, look at the trees," says Zoraya Perez, on her bicycle loaded with packages.
"The bicycle benefits me in work," says Jesús Antonio Medina, perhaps a delivery man.
"While I ride my bike, others can breathe better," says Luis Hernando Rivas.
The city also set up a website called Bicion and have a radio ads using the slogan 'My style is the bicycle.'
|Controlling air pollution would make |
cycling more pleasant and healthy.
As positive as it is to see the city of Bogotá promoting cycling, it also makes me ask why the cyclists themselves, as well as the bicycle industry, aren't doing it. The danger here is that officialdom co-opts Bogotá's as-yet-unborn pro-cycling movement, making it difficult for future activists to oppose city policies.
I was saddened, but not surprised, to read one of Bicion's creators complaining about non-attendance at its organized rides. In fact, Bogotá ciclistas do turn out for mass bike rides - but not for political ones.
|Big cars block bicyclists entering a park in Bogotá. Enforcing parking laws might make cycling easier.|
|'My Style is the Bicycle,' on a bus stop billboard.|
|Transport for the masses? A cyclist weaves |
thru obstacles on Carrera Septima.
In any case, it's long seemed to me that more important than propaganda is improving conditions for cyclists: creating more, and more usable, bike lanes (not on crowded sidewalks, please), controlling air pollution and citing drivers for blocking bike lanes and the ramps which cyclists and pedestrians use.
|The pleasures of cycling on Bogotá's streets.|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours