domingo, 22 de abril de 2018

116 Street's New Bike Lane

Cyclists pedal up 116 Street's new bike lane - several wearing pollution masks.
Bogotá did a nice job on its newest bike lanes - but if only they were connected.

The Cicloruta de la Calle 116, inaugurated last week on International Bicycle Day, is nicely laid out,
A well-designed intersection.
protected from motorized traffic, has smooth road crossings and even some views. And it has not been invaded by street vendors - as of Friday, anyway.

Still, the lane shows some of the symptoms of the ills of Bogotá cycling: A lot of the cyclists wear facemasks, in probably futile attempts to filter out diesel particles. And, at Carrera 15 the lane simply ends, with no connection to another lane. (An adjoining street does have a meaningless sign: 'Shared use with bicycle priority.') The lane then reappears at Carrera 19 and continues to Carrera 50, for a total of 2.4 kms.

Cyclists, including Rappi messengers, wait to cross a street. But that thing on the left doesn't look like a bicycle. 
At Carrera 15, the lane simply ends.
The neighborhood's bike lanes seemed quite busy, at least on the late afternoon when I rode them. A government study reported that some 82,000 cyclists ride thru area every day. The number, while large, does seem believable. Which shows that bicycles are carrying a significant number of Bogotá commuters, altho the city's worsening traffic jams show that car use has increased as well.

When Mayor Enrique Peñalosa inaugurated the lane last week he said that Bogotá now has 500 kilometers of bike lanes, with 20 more projects under construction, which will total 40 additional kms of lanes.

Pedicabs near the lane. The mayor said that gasoline-powered
 cabs would be banned from the lane.
During the inauguration, Peñalosa also said that motorized bicitaxis would be banned from the new lane. Hopefully that will be enforced, and not only on this lane, but all of Bogotá's bike lanes. But he wants to allow pedal-driven cabs to use the lanes. Pehaps this also means that the city will finally crack down on the motorized bicycles, called bici-motos, which cruise the bike lanes as if they were bicycles.

Passing of the Autopista Norte, one long traffic jam.

And on my way back south, bike lane troubles:
Ills of Bogotá's bike lanes: On the way south, cycling down a sidewalk amids pedestrians.

Also on the way back south, an SUV driver doesn't think twice about stopping on a bike lane.
Blog by Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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