Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Trouble With Cars

Carrera 30 near the National University flowed uncongested today. Often,  traffic just crawls along here. 
A traffic jam on a nearby stretch of Carrera 30 a few days ago. 

Bogotá's annual 'Car-Free Day', which happened today, is a beautiful dream. And here's why: Cars Kill Cities!

Private university students walk in the ritzy La Merced neighborhood. Today, the poor souls had to catch the bus or a taxi 

Nowhere to walk: Normally, the neighborhood looks like this, where the street and sidewalk are turned into a parking lot and pedestrians have to dodge cars.

On a normal day on the Avenida Circunvular cars park on the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to walk in the road, amongst racing cars.

 On a normal day, a car tries to force its way onto Carrera 10, where buses crawl along. Private cars occupy about 80% of the space on Bogotá's streets, but transport only about 20% of people.

'Slowly or with space?'A poster advertising car-free day on an office building's bulletin board. The attorney  I met with in the building considered car-free day a terrible inconvenience. 
Cyclists ride down Calle 26, half of which was turned into a Ciclovia today.  The bicyclists' turnout was underwhelming. 

A graph from a recent OECD report on Colombia shows how traffic speed has dropped as the number of cars has climbed.
Cars wait in a minor traffic jam today. Some cars with special permits were allowed to drive around today. Radio commentators remarked on the great proliferation of 'Handicapped' signs in car windows today, which allowed them to use the roads. Even with only a few cars, they managed to generate congestion.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Carlito said...

Interesting graphic, car density has doubled but speed has decreased only 4 km/hr (20% aprox). Anyway, around 20 km/hr is the average speed of a bike...

Miguel said...

Think for a bit about the number of life-hours lost, both to the economy and to simply enjoying life.
, ,
Also, even tho the increased congestion is because of more private cars, the delays steal time from everyone (except cyclists and TransMilenio riders), whether they're in buses or making deliveries.
, ,

Miguel said...

It's worth adding that congested traffic produces much more pollution and consumes much more fuel per mile traveled.