Thursday, April 16, 2015

´Do As We Say, Not As We Sell´

'Get On the Bus', editorializes El Tiempo. But buy one of our advertisers' cars, first.
One of the huge, daily traffic jams on Calle 26.
El Tiempo, Colombia's largest newspaper, has long been part of the chorus calling for people to use mass transit instead of private cars. And I can't doubt their sincerity. After all, the evidence is there for all to see in the city's immense and ever-growing traffic jams.

But, while El Tiempo wants you on the bus, they clearly also want you to buy a car, whose propaganda constitutes much of the newspaper's advertising, including two weekly pull-out car magazines. (The editorial, in any case, is mealy-mouthed and consists mostly of cliches, while neglecting the only policy demonstrated to reducing car use - a congestion charge.)

El Tiempo's hypocrisy in calling for less car use while doing all it can to promote car sales, is an example of the contradictions in many of us, not least of all Bogotá's city government, which claims to want to reduce private car use. Until the government and others actually make their policies match their rhetoric, the traffic crisis will only get worse.
A lone cyclist weaves thru traffic near the National University.
One of the huge, daily traffic jams in La Candelaria.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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