Friday, February 26, 2010

A Picture A Day - Mexico in February 2010 - February 25th

Perhaps the two things most synonymous with Mexico City are pollution and traffic. As I've mentioned before, the mayor of Mexico City has taken a lot of actions to attempt to solve these things. A big initiative lately has been the promotion of bicycles. The main street through the city, Reforma, is closed to cars on Sunday mornings and is widely enjoyed by pedestrians, roller-bladers, and bicyclists (as an aside, the Lake Shore path is easily one of the top five parts of Chicago life). The city lately has had a big push to encourage more people to utilize bikes as part of their day to day lives. A huge concern about biking is safety, as drivers here are careless and generally insane. But even in the center parts of the city (Roma, Condesa, Reforma, Polanco), where everything is compact, hardly anyone takes a bike. You could ride your bike through Chapultepec Park, but not too many other places. I live in the far south part of the city and down here it is massive suburban sprawl; biking is very impractical down here. Apparently this month the city has finally begun constructing new bike paths, and more free bikes are available around the city. There's a cool CNN video report about the attempts to offer free bike rentals and encourage biking in the city.


I found out all the previous info just now. When I saw the posters below at a Metro station yesterday, which encourage citizens to use bikes for daily activities, my first thought was "This'll be a huge failure." Nobody in this country rides bikes, certainly not the well-off people features in these ads. But as I started researching this campaign, I remembered this Adam Carolla rant on why things never get done. His point is things never get done because people always say 'Well, that won't solve all the problems', and then people don't do anything at all. I have no idea how impactful this program will be, but given the low cost of the program, it's definitely worth trying out.

Here's the link to the rest of the album.

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