Sunday, April 19, 2015

History Unearthed on Carrera Septima

Old streetcar tracks uncovered on Carrera Septima.
Skating by streetcar tracks
near Ave. Jimenez.

Laborers working on the pedestrianization of Carrera Septima have uncovered some reminders of the Bogotá of yore - tracks of the old tranvias, or streetcars.

The tranvia network was damaged severely by the April 1948 Bogotazo riots, which followed the killing of populist leader Jorge Eliezer Gaitan. The system limped on for a few years, until a mayor who was in the pocket of the competing bus companies, had his friends asphalt over the tracks.
Remaining streetcar tracks
in San Victorino.

The streetcars were replaced by 'modern' buses, which have brought us noise, pollution and traffic chaos.

Mayor Petro has proposed a light rail line for Carrera Septima, altho it is one of many Petro ideas which have gone nowhere.

Municipal archaeologists are proposing a museum to display the rails and other objects. They'd better hurry: Sooner or later, bazuco addicts are liable to carry off the antique rails to sell them as scrap metal.

A toppled streetcar burns during El Bogotazo. Some say the bus companies paid rioters to destroy the tranvias.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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