Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Miss that Bad Ol' Pico y Placa Yet?

Drivers wait and wait on a street in La Candelaria. 
As they do every year, Bogotá authorities suspended the Pico y Placa rule during the holidays, when many thousands of Bogotanos leave the city. 

Which means that, even with a much-reduced population, we still suffer almost the same old traffic jams. I took these photos today in the city center.

This situation gives reason to reflect on incoming Mayor Gustavo Petro's plan to eliminate the Pico y Placa rule for good. Pico y Placa has obviously failed, as the huge traffic jams on a normal day in Bogotá attest. But the city needs an effective alternative, such as a London-style congestion charge. 

Otherwise, with thousands of additional cars flooding the city every week, Bogotá will suffocate in its own traffic.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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