Friday, February 21, 2014

Order Out Of Chaos?

Yesterday, these guys were standing on Carrera 10 and Calle 13, holding this sign describing Bogotá as 'An environmentally healthy territory.'  A bit of wishful thinking.
Municipal workers turned out yesterday, perhaps for the first time ever, in an attempt to bring order and public spirit to one of Bogotá's most chaotic and polluted intersections - Carrera 10 and Calle 13 (ironically, also named the 'Environmental Axis.')

Here, vehicles routinely stop in the middle of the intersection, creating gridlock. Private cars, bicycles, motorcycles and buses invade TransMilenio's exclusive lanes while police turn a blind eye. Drivers lean on their horns and their tailpipes belch fumes.

Could a few city workers armed with banners change this? Only a little bit, and only for a few hours. Altho one of them told me their work would be 'permanent', today they were gone.

The intersection is chaotic. Both on the street...

...and the sidewalk.

Trying to hold back the chaos.
A woman covers her mouth for protection from the 'environmentally healthy' air. 
Even the other city workers, holding up a sign about diversity, wore masks for protection from all that environmentally healthy air. 
Not hard to see where all the pollution comes from. But environmental authorities evidently don't see it. 
The red 'Pare' or 'Stop' sign clearly does not refer to air pollution.
Police pitched in. This one stopped a bicyclist for riding in the exclusive TransMilenio lane. 
A second cyclist caught. 
What a headache!
Impressively, they also ticketed private cars and buses for invading the TransMilenio lane. 
But the chaos, pollution and congestion continue.

Nobody's going anywhere fast.
On the next avenue down, La Caracas, two more city workers held this slightly out-of-place banner saying 'Nature is Life.'
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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