Monday, April 20, 2009

Columbian Idol




I was inspired to post this blog after attending a recent presentation by Guillermo Penalosa (or “Gil”), a passionate advocate for biking who served as Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for Bogota, Columbia. (He has also become one of my recent idols, along with Al Gore, Christopher Walken, and that Grissom character from CSI.)

Bogota is world renowned for its revolutionary transit system, designated car-free days known as "
Ciclovia", and numerous other recreational programs that Gil has helped develop. Among his most poignant points:

Pedestrians travel at a rate of 5 km/hr, bicyclists at 15km and motorists at +40km; therefore, it only makes sense for there to be designated lanes created for each

We must create bike lanes for everyone, despite age or status. For this we should use the 8/80 rule: bike paths must be accessible and safe enough for 8 year old children AND 80 year olds

ALSO:

If Copenhagen, a city with whose climate is not unlike our own can have a successful bike program, we can too!


If Bogota, a city whose budget for transportation is a fraction of ours can reinvent and establish itself as one of the world leaders in green transportation, we can too!




Winter rush hour in Copenhagen





[image sources: http://www.magis.iteso.mx/, http://www.copenhagenize.com/]







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