Bogotá Commits to the Bicycle

Colombia's capital city, the birthplace of the Ciclovía, is devoting public space to bikes during lockdown. To reduce traffic, the city plans to allocate even more public space to bike infrastructure and sustainable mobility moving forward.

August 13, 2020, 11:00 AM PDT

By Lee Flannery @leecflannery

Bike Lanes

Gabriel L. Guerrero / Shutterstock

The city of Bogotá has engaged in what Andrea Jaramillo describes as a "bike-lane building spree that could be a model in Latin America" in an effort to mitigate a resurgence of traffic congestion after lockdown. "Currently, almost 7% of overall trips in Bogotá are on bicycles, more than in any other city in Latin America. But the city is aiming much higher: The long-term goal is to have 50% of total trips made on bikes or other micromobility alternatives such as scooters," writes Jaramillo. 

Jaramillo's article describes Colombia's capital city's tried relationship with congestion and public transportation. Without a subway system, about 40% of the nation's trips make use of the TransMilenio bus rapid transit system. The famously traffic-laden city is also known for its narrow streets, densely populated neighborhoods, air pollution. 

Mayor Claudia López wants to change the city's car-reliant reputation and reality by continuing the work for former mayor Enrique Peñalosa to increase bike infrastructure and encourage more Borotanos to travel by bike. "While 65% of households don’t own a car, 85% of the city’s public space is currently used up by motorized vehicles, Nicolás Estupiñán, Bogotá’s secretary of mobility, said in a webcast in June," reports Jaramillo. One step in the bike direction: setting aside a fifth of parking for bike lanes during the pandemic.

Monday, August 10, 2020 in Bloomberg CityLab

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