The citizens of Mexico City have been demanding bike lanes for years now, and despite promises made in legislation passed nearly four years ago, they've barely seen any. So, since the government has failed to provide the city's cyclists with safe lanes to ride, those cyclists banded together to make a powerful public statement -- they painted their own bike lanes on the streets right out front of the Congress building in Mexico City.
Jimena Veloz, one of the activists engaged in the project, explained the motivation for the project on This Big City: "Mexico City’s government pledged in 2007 that it would build 300 km of bike lanes around the city by 2012. However, the city still only has 22.2 km because most money is allocated to car infrastructure, leaving aside non-motorized mobility."
Be sure to read Veloz's account of how the cyclists took matters into their own hands, soliciting funds for the project on a crowd-funding site and taking to the streets with paint and rollers. They completed 5 km of bike lane -- which they called Wikicarril, or 'Wikilane' -- in a single day. Veloz writes, "We worked for 8 hours. We painted 5 kms. We spent less than 1000 dollars. How much would it cost to actually build the bicycle infrastructure the city needs?"
Kudos to Veloz and co. -- this was a powerful, peaceful, and visually appealing way to rally support to an oft-overlooked cause. And lord knows that Mexico City, with its perpetually choked roadways and streets thick with smog, could use the push towards more sustainable transportation options more than almost anywhere.