Bogota to ban cars from historic center

The mayor of Bogota’s historical district, La Candelaria, has announced the pedestrianization of the city’s cobblestone streets, to promote footfall and deter local crime.

La Candelaria Mayor Xinia Navarro Prada said mobility and security problems in the area were catalysts for adopting the change, which will start at the beginning of 2012.

The proposed vehicular restriction, which has the support of local businesses, is part of an umbrella tourism policy seeking to attract more visitors to the heart of old-town Bogota.

“The pedestrianization is a good option to mitigate the impacts mobility has on the town, as well as preserve local heritage. I think it can only be done in some districts, or otherwise it could hinder access for residents,” the mayor explained.

Police commander Colonel Nelson Diaz added that local police agree with the proposal because they believe that it has the power to decrease theft and robbery in La Candelaria.

The regulation will affect 1.5 million people who live and work in the downtown Bogota area.

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