Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bogotá: One-Way Trip to Becoming Los Angeles, Calif.?

A Los Angeles, Ca. freeway - the future for Bogotá?
Bogotá Mayor Samuel Moreno just announced a plan to criss-cross the city with 'mega-freeways' to reduce traffic congestion and feed the booming private car ownership.

Haven't they noticed that freeways increase pollution, divide cities, create caves where muggers hang out - and in the end only postpone the day of reckoning with congestion?

Calle 13, which is slated to be freewayed, is lined by bike shops and other small businesses. 
Bogotá city planners ought to look north toward Los Angeles, which turned itself into a symbol for car addiction by paving over and double-decking great swaths of its landscape.

The result? Today, Los Angeles suffers the worst traffic congestion in the U.S. and is focusing on expanding its mass transit network.

Why doesn't Bogotá look into the future, skip the expense and trauma of building freeways, and adopt the only policies which will actually produce sustainable control of traffic: manage demand, by charging motorists for the congestion they cause.

The freeway strategy might be pointless, anyway. If oil prices continue rising in the long term, traffic will inevitably decline, leaving the expensive new freeways vacant.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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