Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Oncoming Auto Avalanche!

A recent advertorial in El Tiempo boasts that some new luxury apartment buildings have ten parking spaces per apartment. Car elevators coming next?
This sentence in a flattering El Tiempo advertorial article about Bogotá's most expensive neighborhoods jarred me worse than lots of horrific crime stories:

Congested Carrera 30 this afternoon. 
Some new apartment buildings, the newspaper proudly points out, "include as many as ten parking spots per apartment."

Ten cars per apartment? In the auto-adiccted United States, the average family has only about three cars. Of course, these people are Colombia's one percenters, who possess everything short of Mitt Romney's underground car elevator. Still, for every family with ten cars, there are probably a half dozen with five and 50 with two automobiles.

Already traffic-strangled Bogotá just can't take it! And the city's got to take real measures.

No building your way out of a jam: El Tiempo reports
that an expensive new overpass hasn't relieved
traffic congestion. 
'Share your car.'
But give me an incentive to do it.
Pointless billboards like this one only make me feel more frustrated. Car-pooling is a good idea, but won't work without real economic and congestion-driven incentives to car-pool. Bogotá is seen as progressive thanks to its bike lanes and express bus network. But how about simple, old-fashioned policies like car pool lanes? Or a city-wide website to facilitate car-pooling, like this one for those commuting to La Universidad de los Andes?

Not in Bogotá: A car-pool lane in
the Washington, D.C. region.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Carlito said...

ten parking sports per apartment is probably directed to a special market: those who have several bodyguards, hence several cars for a single trip. Have you seen the motorcade of a Senator or Minister? at least 3 cars and 2 bikes but normally 5 cars and 3 bikes, there you have 8 spots already.
Some buildings in Bogotá have their own lobby for bodyguards. I wonder when are we going to start seeing helicopters instead, like in Rio or Sao Paulo.

Miguel said...

Do bodyguards actually park in the same buildings as their protectees? I thot they just hung out in front of the building smoking and ogling women. I don't know. But even if these include three bodyguard cars, seven's still a lot. And, for every 7-car household, there are probably ten 5-car households and 50 3-car households, etc, which are fast overwhelming the city.