Reflections From a Chronic Pedestrian


Traffic jam. Photo on Flickr by usuer Wendell (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

From Bogotá, the author of blog Juglar del Zipa remembers his childhood without a family car, among other things he hadn't at home that made him the “weird guy of the class: elder dad, wasn't a football fan but enjoyed classic music, hadn't been baptized… and didn't have a car!” That's how he became a chronic pedestrian, so he has a different view about the traffic in the city:

Nuestra primera forma de independencia es cuando podemos desplazarnos torpemente por medio de nuestro propio cuerpo, nuestro frágil cuerpo, el accidente que nos hace individuos. y por eso todos somos peatones, a todos nos iguala serlo. El mundo, sin embargo, parece estar armado para privilegiar una forma específica de desplazamiento: el motorizado. […] La realidad es que la gente cruza la calle con miedo porque sabe que quienes van en carro muy difícilmente disminuirán la velocidad pues ante todo usan la máquina con la que se desplazan como una amenaza para disuadir el paso de la gente, un espantador de «bestias». […] Dejémoslos desnudos (a los autos), como estamos nosotros, los que no nos desplazamos con esa coraza asesina.

Our first form of independence is when we are able to move around clumsily with our own body, our fragile body, the accident that makes an individual out of ourselves. And that's why we are all pedestrians, we are all the same at that. The world, however, seems to be prepared to privilege a specific way of movement: the motorized one. […] The thing is people cross the street with fear because they know that those who are in a car will hardly reduce their speed, as they use the machine that transports them as a threat to dissuade other people's way, a «beast» scarer. […] Let's leave them naked (the cars), as we all are, those who don't use that killer shields to move around.

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