Saturday, January 18, 2014

What Did(n't) Petro Do?

No fans of Mayor Petro. Bullfighters train in Bogotá's Santamaria Plaza.
Mayor Gustavo Petro didn't allow bullfights in the Plaza Santamaria. Unfortunately, however, the handsome, historic stadium has not been used for cultural or other events recently.

Pro-Petro, anti-bullfighting posters.
SITP buses wait for passengers in the Los Martires district.
Petro introduced the Integrated Public Transport System, or SITP, meant to replace the old, chaotic, polluting private buses.

A SITP bus with one passenger inside.
But the SITP buses carry few passengers, and often pollute.

And traffic jams and traffic chaos continues.
Petro talked about creating a congestion charge, which is the only realistic solution to Bogotá's traffic mess. But the city has paid for one study after another, while only readjusting the failed Pico y Placa.

A trash pile in the Parque Nacional in Bogotá.
Petro got himself ousted from office by a mishandled effort to transfer trash collection from private companies to public ones. But the city's trash situation hasn't improved. And recycling is still mostly fantasy.

While under Petro the city promoted recycling, which was unfortunately unrealistic and hasn't happened, Petro's administration didn't impose proven, common sense solid waste policies such as a bottle deposit or taxing plastic bags.

A cyclist rides on the Ave. Septima bike lane.
Petro shut down Ave. Septima during the daytime, and added a bike lane. He won the gratitude of cyclists, but shop owners complain.

Cyclists and bike advocacy posters.
Under Petro, the city also carried out campaigns promoting bicycling.

Bicyclists and cars on Ave. Caracas.
But cyclists still have to battle cars on chaotic, congested avenues.

A horsecart clops along Ave. Decima.
Petro banned horsecarts from Bogotá's streets - a victory for animal rights activists, but a defeat for the low-income families which depended on the carts.

A truck belches smoke on Ave. Septima, in front of the Ministry of the Environment.
Air pollution continues uncontrolled. Apparently, clean air isn't part of Bogotá Humana, the mayor's slogan.

Can you see the city? Morning smog over Bogotá.
Pro-Petro campers on Plaza Bolivar.
ARe you sure? Petro is Change,' says a demonstrator on Plaza Bolivar. 
Bogotá government poster promoting disarmament.
Petro has prohibited the possession of weapons. Homicides have declined, altho it's not certain that's the reason why.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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