Once a month car free in Mexico City?
What is this Corridors of Unmotorized Movement all about? Are they intended to form a useful network? This article raises more questions in my mind than it answers.
"Officials in Mexico City have been ordered to leave their cars behind and cycle to work once a month.
The new city regulation that has just come into force is aimed at reducing traffic and pollution in one of the most congested cities in the world.
About four million cars travel every day through the city of more than 18m people - and officials say their aim is to cut pollution as well as disease.
Tax incentives are envisaged for firms encouraging alternative transport.
Those officials who cannot cycle because of health reasons, or because they live too far from work, will be allowed to use public transport, but not their vehicle.
Mayor Marcelo Ebrard proposed the programme last year - and was the first to get on his bicycle from his home south of the city to his office in the central Zocalo.
His Corridors of Unmotorised Movement: Pedal your City comes complete with a guidebook on "urban cycling" - including security-related details like what to wear and how to get spotted by motorists.
Only 0.7% of all journeys in the capital are by bicycle - and Mr Ebrard aims to increase to 2% in three years' time and 5% in six years.
At the same time, the mayor says he will improve public transport, including building more special bus lanes. "
Once a month will only cut car use by 1/28. Once a week would be a better goal.
IMO, a better plan would be to have two bus lanes and one bike lane for each car lane. Strictly enforced.
It's ironic that governments of crowded cities never hit on the obvious answer to gridlock and pollution: Ban car use or strictly curtail it. Put in electric trains or at least hybrid buses to take up the slack. I guess this answer is too simple to appeal to policy makers?
you really have to have the huevos to ride in Mexico DF. I wouldn't want to drive there, let alone bicycle.
Like many cities if you can design the majority of your daily life around the city center and transit you'll in good shape. The Mexico City Metro is very efficient and goes to all corners of the city, including the huge leafy university at the south end.
I agree about biking though. Other than a few wide boulevards and the green areas of Chapultapec you'd be in for a major thrill ride heart stopper.
I've never been there and have had the impression that the air pollution is a bigger worry than crazy drivers. The article states that the mayor is biking from his home in the south to the center city. It also reads like they're creating unmotorized routes. I suspect that it is a matter of we outsiders not understanding the traffic conventions and seeing danger where there isn't much. It also seems that of all the workers forced to bike once per month many will be like me and realize that biking is so much better that the car gets dumped. A 3% reduction in car trips is a step in the right direction because it results in a huge increase in the numer of people who discover as a fact that they can get around without a car and then will be more agreeable to other car free type initiatives.
Originally Posted by jamesdenver
Mexico City is evidence that cities won't even survive if they continue to let motor vehicles rule.
Now its going to be so much easier to kidnap city officials and hold them for ransom or a trip to the nearest ATM. Some lucky criminial gangs will have a field day!
Last edited by Recumbomatic; 04-03-07 at 12:00 PM.
It's good to see some clear thinkers realize motor transport is a dead end.
Working in New York City, the barrage of motor traffic is noisy, smelly and stressful to look at.
I once went to an exhibition focused on Mexico City at P.S. 1 in Queens. The cityscape photos were revealing. You know Mexico City is built on a dry lake bed, it is completely flat and huge. HUGE! 10 million people and the sprawl goes forever, the city is like L.A. on steroids.
Back to topic, a few thousand city officials commuting by bike 12 times per year will make no significant difference at all. This gesture is purely symbolic. And given the local conditions, I'd say its downright hazardous.