Meet Mexico City's Pedestrian Protecting Superhero

Sarah Goodyear introduces us to Peatónito, the masked Lucha Libre inspired defender of pedestrians.
March 2, 2013, 7am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Peatónito is the alter ego of Jorge Cáñez, a 26-year-old political scientist in Mexico City who has also worked with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP)."

"Cáñez created Peatónito to be a defender of the rights of the pedestrian in public space. He wears a cape and a mask in the tradition of Lucha Libre, the popular Mexican wrestling style. His mission, he says, is to protect the pedestrian’s much-assaulted right of way on the streets of Mexico City, where on average one pedestrian is killed by a motor vehicle every day and countless others are injured. His mask is black and white, the colors of a crosswalk."

"In character, Cáñez and his allies get out into the street and physically block cars that are infringing on pedestrian space, paint crosswalks where they are lacking, give speeches about pedestrian rights, and clear sidewalks of obstructions so that people on foot can pass through," explains Goodyear. "The reception, he says, is good -- because he always stays positive."

"My biggest successes take place when the pedestrians feel safe crossing the streets and they thank me," he says. "Also when the motorists change their minds and understand that the pedestrians have the priority in the streets. Both things are important, because we are talking about a citizen social initiative, from citizen to citizen."

Urbanism Avenger, are you paying attention?

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Published on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 in The Atlantic Cities
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