¡Ciclovia! – ¿Que?
A couple of weeks ago I was having coffee with Lee Kleinman, who’s the the Park Board member for Council District 11, and he mentioned something he was excited about called a “Ciclovia“. I wasn’t familiar with the term, or the concept, but he said he’d send me a video or two. Well he did just that and out of all of the cycling related videos I’ve ever watched, and I’ve seen so many that I’ve become numb to most, these are hands down the most inspiring that I have ever seen.
Ciclovia in Spanish means something close to “bike path” and Bogota, Colombia is given credit for popularizing the activity. In practice it means closing streets to automobiles and opening them to cyclists and pedestrians. In Bogota every Sunday from 7am to 2pm the streets in significant sections of the city are closed to automobile traffic, and people come out of the woodwork on bicycles, skates, and on foot to participate in numerous health and leisure related activities. Think of it as a cycling “block party” that is measured in square miles and not blocks.
When I watched these videos I couldn’t help but wonder about Dallas doing
something along the same lines. Numerous cities in North America have their own ciclovias and it looks like even Austin has plans to start organizing their own later this month. Downtown Dallas is often a ghost town on most weekends, so you’d think there would be support to do most anything that would bring more people there on a weekend day. And downtown isn’t the only spot where something like this could occur, and Dallas isn’t the only city that could host one. Lots of possibilities.
Lee is a fan of a Dallas Ciclovia, in fact he’s put together a proposal or two
complete with routes that connect close by lakes and parks. Hopefully we’ll hear more about his ideas sooner than later. I’d love to see more people express an interest in seeing something like this in the Dallas area, and maybe generate some buzz about it. Until then learn more about Ciclovia from the folks that popularized it in these two videos produced by Street Films.
Bogota has an impressive bicycle infrastructure that provides a vital means of transportation. You can read more about that here, and you can also read a bike blog from Bogota here . It’s written by Mike Ceaser who owns Bogota Bike Tours.
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