THIS IS COOL!!!
(Hector Molina, El Universal, 4-March-2007 my translation)
Starting in April, Mexico City civil servants will have to ride a bicycle to work, at least the first Monday of every month, under an executive order signed by Federal District Governor Marcelo Ebrard.
The measure is designed to set an example for others, and to foment bicycle use in the Capital. He announced the order during the inaguaration of a new bike-rental station for the city’s “cylcpista” (bicycle road). Altogether, four “cicloestaciones” are planned, which will provide free service for civil servants in the area, or rent bikes at 35 pesos an hour or 50 pesos per day.
Next year, the city plans to construct cyclopistas throughout Mexico City. The first to be built will extend the route already existing on Paseo de la Refoma to Colonia Condessa. Preliminary plans call for connections with the Metro, and the Insurgentes and Eje 4 South Metrobus lines. In addition, plans are being drawn up to allow bicycles on the Metro and RTP buses Monday through Friday during off-peak hours. Bicycles are presently only allowed on the Metro on Sunday.
In agreement with the secretary of the Environment, Marta Delgado, the STC (Sistema de Transporte Colectivo, local transport authority) is analyzing their schedule to facilite bicycle commuters. Among the options under consideration are separate Metro wagons for bicycles, although these could not be used during peak hours. Another is to provide tax incentives to companies that locate near employee’s homes. This benefit would be available to branch operations of businesses like supermarkets and chain restaurants. One hope is that employees will be encouraged to move closer to work, cutting down on commuter traffic, or be able to get to and from work… by bike.
There are a few civil servants — the mailmen and some cops who you’re used to seeing on bikes, but you also see delivery guys carrying the most amazing stuff (trays of food, sides of beef, two or three meter stacks of magazines), the knife-grinders with their bike-powered honing wheels, kids, pedicabs and a few commuters on bikes.
Besides cutting down on the god-awful traffic and the air pollution… and doing it’s bit for global warming, anyone who has ever had to deal with a civil servant who asks, “you mean I have to get out of my chair, leave my desk, walk across the room and look in the filing cabinet?” should cheer.
I’ve wanted to run this picture forever… now’s my chance. You don’t see “bike v. car… bike wins” pictures too often: