Mexico City to Build 186 Miles of Bike Paths by 2012

Last week, we reported the disheartening news that car use has doubled in smoggy Mexico City in the last seven years. But as we've also noted, the current Mexico City government, headed up by Mayor Marcelo Ebrard (pictured with glasses), has shown admirable leadership in beginning to transform Mexico City into a more hospitable environment for bicyclists and public transport riders.

Just this week, Tanya Muller, director of urban reforestation, parks and bike paths for the mayor's office, announced that the city government has committed to build 186 miles (300 kilometers) of bike paths, or ciclovías, complemented by weekly street closings to vehicle traffic (not unlike what Bogota does), by 2012. It's an ambitious goal, and the city will have to build 37 miles (50 km) of paths every year for the next five years. The city will also construct a series of bike parking lots, watched by security guards, adjacent to Metro station hubs and in the financial district.According to experts at Mexico's National Autonomous University, 57 percent of the city's carbon dioxide emissions come from vehicle transport, and pollution levels exceed permissible limits set by the World Health Organization 60 percent of the days of the year.

"We intend to improve the sustainability of the city and the quality of life of its inhabitants so that it goes back to being more friendly," said Muller. :: Via Efe (Spanish link)

Tags: Mexico | Transportation