|Bogotá drivers and passengers wait...|
|In La Candelaria, every evening.|
Bogotá has worst traffic than any other regional cityThat's a grim honor, since Colombia is still a developing nation and car ownership rates here are certain to continue growing quickly.
The infuriating thing about traffic trouble is that, unlike a drought, earthquake or flooding, traffic congestion is man-made and completely avoidable. Instead, Bogotá seems to be doing its best to make traffic worse, with subsidized gasoline, free parking and saturation advertising. The media also buy into this, of course, by publishing cheering stories whenever cars sales are strong, apprently not recalling that those vehicles will soon strangle streets and poison our air.
|Waiting on 26th Stree.|
Traffic jams aren't just bad for making it to appointments on time. They also increase air pollution, contribute to sedentarianism and cause stress and noise.
What can Bogotá do about its terrible traffic? It's simple, if not easy: Raise the cost of driving, both economically and convenience-wise. That means charging more for gasoline, parking and other driving-related things. Enforcing air pollution laws would take a significant number of cars off of the road. And, expanding TransMilenio and bike lanes would make traffic congestion worse. But, by discouraging driving, the policies would encourage residents to leave their cars at home.
However, those policies are also all unpopular, so don't hold your breath.
|Carrera 5 in its usual condition.|