Next Thursday, Bogotá celebrates its tenth annual ‘Day without Cars’.
Citizens will have to leave their car in the garage from 6:30am to
7:30pm and use other, cleaner means of transportation.
The Day without Cars was first organized in 2000. Later that year, a popular consult determined that from then on, cars would be restricted every first Thursday of January. Studies pointed out that a single day with reduced traffic lowers air pollution levels by 53 percent.
Not all vehicles will be forbidden to flock the streets on Thursday. Public transport should function normally, taxi’s will be available and those that insist on using private, motorized transport can use a motorbike.
However, the city also offers a much cleaner form of transportation, called the ‘Cicloruta’. This is a 354km long network of bike paths throughout the city, which should allow most people to get from one point to another in a secure and surprisingly fast manner, depending on one’s physical shape.
The Day without Cars should be a good final practice ahead of the extended ‘Pico y Placa’ system, which starts the very next day. Many Bogotanos have had to prepare for alternative means of transportation on the days that their car isn’t allowed to appear on the street, and Thursday will be a first real test.
Complying will certainly be worth it as the fine for ignoring the Day without Cars, or any Pico y Placa for that matter, is set at 248.500 pesos, the equivalent of about 100 USD.