Monday, April 30, 2007

The Ciclovía

From what I´m told by people here in Chorrillos, their mayor is a pretty good one. He hasn´t been seriously accused of corruption, and has been reelected twice. And every once in a while he has a really good idea, but sometimes the execution is a little lacking -- like the Ciclovía (cycle path) that was recently put into place. Traffic is heavy in most parts of the city from dawn to dusk, and lots of bicyclists have been killed by careless drivers. So a separate traffic lane for bicycles could have a big impact on safety and encourage more people to use bicycles, reducing auto traffic.

The Ciclovía in Chorrillos is similar to what a lot of North American cities have done, reserving a space in the public thoroughfares exclusively for bicycles. And in some areas where the road was recently widened, it was implemented very effectively. But for the most part it just consists of a couple of yellow stripes painted on top of whatever was already there. And human nature being what it is, it´s hard to imagine that the mototaxis that have always parked on a certain street, or the pedestrians who fill the sidewalk at one of the busiest bus stops in the city, are going to pay much attention to the new yellow lines. So while there will undoubtedly be a reduction in the number of bicyclists run over by vehicles, there will probably be an increase in the number of pedestrians run over by bicycles. I suppose it´s a good tradeoff.

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