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Colombia: Car-Free Day in Bogotá

Car-Free Day Bogotá 2010. Photo by Carlos Felipe Pardo, Flickr carlosfpardo, used under a CC BY 2.0 license

On February 3, the city of Bogotá held a Car-Free Day –a day when restrictions are placed on the circulation of private vehicles. The day is designed as a strategy to raise environmental awareness and improve, for one day, vehicular traffic in cities worldwide.

Sysmaya shared [es] information from the radio station RadioSantafe [es] with its readers:

Un balance positivo del día sin carro ó del día del aire limpio entregó el alcalde Mayor de Bogotá, Samuel Moreno Rojas, quien reportó una sustancial reducción de la contaminación ambiental con la salida de circulación de 1 millón 430 mil vehículos particulares.

En los trece puntos de control a las emisiones de las fuentes fijas, revisaron un total de 526 vehículos de los cuales 551 no pasaron las pruebas atmosféricas y 80 automotores fueron inmovilizados.

A positive review of the car-free day or clean air day was presented by the Mayor of Bogota, Samuel Moreno Rojas, who reported a substantial reduction of air pollution from the absense of 1 million 430 thousand vehicles from circulation.

In the thirteen emission control points, a total of 526 vehicles were reviewed, of which 551 failed the atmospheric tests and 80 vehicles were immobilized.

On Twitter, the hashtag #Diasincarro (car-free day) documented opinions on the different situations that arose during the day. The reduction of carbon monoxide levels was highlighted as one of the positive outcomes of the day:

Mejor en bici (better in a bike) (@mejorenbici) reported:

44 por ciento bajó el monóxido de carbono en el #diasincarro Muchas gracias BOGOTA y feliz fin de semana.

carbon monoxide in the air dropped by 44% during the #carfreeday Thank you BOGOTA and have a great weekend

Carito Camargo (@Caritoesoterica) wrote about how peaceful it was to move around the city:

Excelente este #diasincarro nada mejor que desplazarse por la ciudad con tranquilidad….ademas llegue por fin a las 6 a la U bien bien

this #carfreeday is excellent, nothing better than to move around the city in peace… and I finally made it to university at 6, good good

Lina Gutiérrez (@ChefGuty) noticed a decrease in noise levels:

Mi #diasincarro paso sin pena ni gloria….no sentí la diferencia del trancón pero si en el ruido me hizo feliz el silencio.

My #carfreeday passed unnoticed…I didn't feel a difference in traffic jams but [I felt a difference] in the noise, the silence made me happy

Car-Free Day Bogotá 2010. Photo by Carlos Felipe Pardo, Flickr carlosfpardo, used under a CC BY 2.0 license

For some, like Robert Salazar (@SoySalazarR), there were no major differences and even reported traffic congestion:

la 10 con el #diasincarro es peor!! no crei que fuera a poder decir esto algun dia. La decima puede empeorar

[street] 10 with the #carfreeday is the worst! I never thought I would be able to say this one day. The tenth [street] can get worse.

Lina Hurtado (@linhure) tweeted about the difficulties in using public transportation and in getting from one place to another:

Esto sonará anticívico de nuevo, pero me molesta ver que son las 10:30pm y mucha gente aun no puede llegar a casa por culpa del #Diasincarro

This is going to sound anti-civic again, but it bothers me that it is 10:30pm and a lot of people still can't get to their houses because of the #Carfreeday

Felipe Gutiérrez (@PiPe_DaRk) and Alfonso Penagos  (@AlfonsoPenagos) think there was no major environmental impact with the measure. In that order, they wrote:

creo que el #diasincarro funciona mas para los taxistas que para el medio ambiente…seguimos respirando humo.

Bueno creo que el balance del #díasincarro es un completo fracaso… ni siquiera el medio ambiente se vio favorecido.

I think that the #carfreeday is better for cab drivers than for the environment…we are still breathing smog

Well I think that the outcome of the #carfreeday is a complete failure… not even the environment was favored

However, others think the car-free day should be implemented in other places and with greater frequency. Christina Méndez (@ImChrizM), for example, said:

El #diasincarro fue lo máximo, debería ser con más frecuencia.

The #carfreeday was the best, it should happen more often

David Olaya (@DavidOlaya) added:

Debería haber mas de un #diasincarro al año, no solo en #Bogota sino en otras ciudades.

There should be more than one #carfreeday during the year, not only in #Bogota but also in other cities.

With a similar view, Yenny Moreno (@chela_moreno) wrote:

#diasincarro una de las mejores formas para cuidar el planeta, lastima que no sea tan frecuente.

#carfreeday is one of the best ways to help the planet, too bad it doesn't happen as frequently

Finally, Sebastián Movilla (@sebasmovilla) shares his satisfaction with the day's results linking to the Colombian newspaper El tiempo, which wrote the headline: “Speed increased and pollution decreased in the car-free day,” where it reviews what happened during the day:

Muy satisfactorios los resultados de este #diasincarro en #Bogota, deberia hacerse muchas veces mas al año http://bit.ly/eIQG0w #mejorenbici

The results of this #carfreeday in #Bogota are very satisfactory, it should be held a lot more times during the year http://bit.ly/eIQG0w [es] #betterinabike

You can read more about this initiative in a previous post published by Global Voices when this same day was held in the city of Medellín.

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