Ciclovía Documentary shot by Streetfilms
Bogotá, Colombia is holding a 70-mile long block party. And everyone’s invited.
Ciclovía — "bike path" in Spanish — is an event that closes down major roads for pedestrian use every Sunday and holiday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Created in 1976, it rapidly grew from eight miles and 140,000 bicyclists to 70 miles and an average of 1.5 million weekly riders. Ciclovía is championed as a community building event that attracts people from all backgrounds for a day of biking, walking, skating and dancing in the streets.
In the above video, Bogota’s former park commissioner Guillermo (Gil) Penalosa discusses Ciclovía’s main appeal: social integration.
You will see people in $5,000 bikes and others in $50 bikes, and all having the same fun! Rich and poor, young and old, men and woman, tall or short... ALL!
Cited for “endless benefits” such as the improvement of personal and public health, Ciclovía has inspired other cities to develop similar programs, including Guadalajara, Mexico; Quito, Ecuador; Santiago, Chile; and Paris, where an expressway along the Seine is transformed into a pedestrian refuge one month out of the summer.
Cities in the U.S. are also developing similar programs, starting with El Paso, Texas. This Sunday Portland, Ore., is clearing 6 miles of roadway for six hours in its inaugural "Sunday Parkways." New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his city's plans for Ciclovía-like event this August that would stretch from 72nd to the Brooklyn Bridge along Park Avenue.
Events such as Ciclovía are not only free, but they also bring all sorts of people together to get healthy and build a happy community. It seems like a no-brainer that every city should have a Ciclovía!