BICISTEMA, Bicycle Transport System and Services Integration Proposal in Bogotá-Colombia.
Nominated for The Planning for Sustainable Land Use and Transport Award
Laura Viviana Rojas Reyes, Master in City Sciences Student
Bogotá is adapting the bicycle as a transport mode, it must be considered the consolidation of his bike lanes network through an alternative mobility system, These integrations will generate a series of incorporated facilities for bicycles.
In the past decade, the bicycle has taken a place as an alternative means of transportation in various cities around the world. It has the potential of becoming quite an efficient way of transportation in cities like Bogotá.
Bogotá as the political, economic and administrative capital of the country concentrates a great variety of activities gathered in different areas of the city, directly shaping the metropolis mobility. These activities are zoned in a way that the citizen’s daily trips require long and unfortunate journeys to get from the residential spaces to the education ones, but also to get to work and leisure spaces, thus requiring motorized modes as main transport means, such as private cars, motorcycles, public and private transport systems.
Cover the mobility problems leads to an analysis of the agents that influence in a timely manner in the territory and how these have been affected, taking into account the rapid processes of urbanization in cities. Bogotá grew in an extraordinary way since 60’s as the consequence of the migratory processes that led to the extension of the networks and urban services to new sectors of the city. With the increase in population, the volume of traffic grew proportionally as well. In addition to the lack of infrastructure for the increasing demand of public and private transportation, the existing urban transport system (BRT), suffers from rapid deterioration and the current mobility system does not promote any effective and sustainable mobility model.
Bogotá, thanks to the Latin America’s largest bike lanes network 410 km, is adapting the bicycle as a main means of transportation. Nevertheless, this city’s infrastructure policy is not supported by measures and policies that promote their use, therefore, the consolidation of these bike lanes network must be considered through an active transportation system. Statistics in Bogotá show that more and more people are choosing their cars and motorcycles as their main means of transport. Significantly, bicycles are evenly distributed across socioeconomic groups, unlike cars, which are concentrated in the upper classes. To put that in perspective during the last five years the number of cars and motorcycle ownership are increasing almost twice while walking and cycling.
These situations, let us see the need to introduce new models that would restructure the network and encourage the use of sustainable transport systems. Many of the cycle paths in Bogotá need to be reconstructed because they do not measure up to the actual and necessary standards, some are used by so many people that they are no longer wide enough. The problem of parking all those bicycles, and the lack of facilities in order to promote the bicycle use, become a first step to re-think new ways to create even more space for cyclists and pedestrians.
Bicistema, bike lanes network consolidation and bicycle station designs would promote the bicycle as an active means of transportation, concentrating useful services for commuters and reducing travel times. Moreover, this would enhance the livability of a city by making it more pleasant, healthier and more sustainable for everyone. However transportation, just like all other government matters, must be included into this picture, and must reflect the needs of all citizens, especially the most vulnerable ones: pedestrians and cyclists.
Building better infrastructure requires the recognition of the fact that all means of transportation are equally important and thereby they all need to be given equal considerations in urban planning. This means devoting efforts in, physically separated bike lanes, facilities for bicycle use, clearly marked intersections, wider sidewalks, public space implementations and coherent public transport systems; making the transportation for people rather than cars, and making it possible through the primary considerations of proper facilities and well thought of road designs.
Bicistema is about:
To define and consolidate the bike lanes network as a complete and cohesive transport infrastructure
To provide bike repair services for common users commuting by bike and supply their basic repairing needs.
To integrate a series of incorporated facilities for the use of bicycles as a transport system into the bicycle stations.
To concentrate complementary services that generate daily trips (Local business, local services, showers, changing facilities)
To promote cycling infrastructure and multimodal integration between bicycles and public transport. To reduce motorized traffic, decrease transit casualties and road congestion
To improve and promote appropriate public space conditions, creating harmony between pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. To make bicycling a safe, easy, fun and cool transport choice for everyone.
Association for European Transport