|A billboard promises wonders at the site. But the website is blank.|
|Vendors sell ties at the lot's entrance.|
|This brilliantly-restored b|
uilding is across the street.
Besides size, however, a new public park at
this busy intersection would have little in common with Parque 93, which is surrounded by some of the most expensive real estate in Colombia and Latin America. Parque 93 is bordered by quiet streets and upscale cafes, restaurants and multi-start hotels. The intersection of 7th and 19th, in contrast, is populated by blue-collar clothing shops, eyeglass shops and health food stores. Just a few blocks away, prostitutes prance along the sidewalks. And the avenues are chronically chaotic and congested.
|Inside, grass and trash.|
|The walls provide great space for graffiti.|
|The neighborhood's a bit seedy and run-down.|
While Bogotá has created new parks, both large and small, in recent decades, central Bogotá has few of them.
Looking into the future, the city is building TransMilenio express bus lines on the nearby carreras 3 and 10. A few hundred meters east on 19th St., they're building what is to be the tallest building in Colombia. Hopefully, one day in the near future the city will bring also transit sanity to the chaotic and polluted 19th St. and 7th Ave, where Mayor Petro has proposed building a light rail line. When that happens, this corner property could be crucial for transit stations.
But almost anything they put on this site - short of a parking lot - would be an improvement. This is a pressing case for the city to use eminent domain laws to end the legal wrangling and put this property to use.
|A mentally-ill homeless man amidst trash nearby.|
|Rat street art.|
|The surrounding sidewalks provide great space for shoeshiners and vendors.|
|A man takes a leak.|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours