The spectacle of car-free streets

Bogotá closes its roads every Sunday. Now everyone wants to do it.

To visit Bogotá, Colombia, on a Sunday is to witness an unforgettable spectacle: miles and miles of car-free streets packed with cyclists, runners, and walkers. This summer, I walked from my hotel down a hill to Carrera Séptima, a wide avenue where men on Italian road bikes zoomed past teenagers on mountain bikes. Grannies on rusted cruisers glided alongside dog walkers. Together, they formed a torrent broken only when a few people periodically peeled off to sip papaya juice from a vendor on the sidewalk. From 7 am to 2 pm every Sunday (and holiday), 76 miles of streets are closed (partially or fully) to traffic for the Ciclovía, a program the local government has run since 1974. ….[READ]