Residents take action – DIY bike lanes!

I came across this article/video (thanks Twitter network!) about a fantastic grassroots initiative in Mexico that I couldn’t resist posting it here.

Guadalajara, in Mexico, is a city that has no bike lanes at all, and apparently the city adds 350 cars to its streets every day (not sure why that is, and could not find other source of information). A group of residents, led by locals schools’ students and teachers, decided to create 5km of dedicated cycle lanes.

The video is in Spanish, although is fairly self-explanatory. The students, at the beginning of the video, are saying that after a long time of lobbying their politicians for cycling infrastructure/cycle lanes, they saw no action, so it was time they did something about it (more or less!).

I put myself in that category that moans about the current state of cycling infrastructure that I experience in my city, however videos like this are a healthy reality check that, although we need to strive for improvements and advancement in cycling infrastructure, to aim for a supported and coherent network like the Netherlands’, we should not forget that we are already in a good position in being able to use our bikes in, relatively, safe conditions.

On another note, I wonder what our councils would say if we would go and do something similar. I suspects we would be charged with damage to public property or something similar… I wonder how the residents of Guadalajara went round that problem, or if they didn’t need to worry about that all.

Anyhow, there’s nothing that makes me more happy that seeing grassroots initiatives like this. I am a great believer in people actively participating and engaging with their built environment, especially when feeling/seeing no support, no action from their local government. A great example of civic action at work 🙂

Wishing you all a safe cycling week!

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5 responses to “Residents take action – DIY bike lanes!

  1. Very good initiative!
    From time ago I’ve been thinking on doing something similar (but smaller). My friends and I want to repaint a deteriorated bike lane but we are afraid of the legal consequences of that, as you are.

    • Interesting!I hope you get to do it 🙂 Perhaps you could let the council know as a voluntary initiative, that way they would see it in a positive light. Good luck!

  2. love this! if it’s not the government who enforces these safe paths for bicycles then it’s the people who make the statement loud and clear by doing it themselves. i have a friend who works with ciclovia in mexico and she shared this video via facebook. they just started a program that gives away free bikes to the people to get them cycling instead of driving. a program a lot of countries that are looking to implement for sustainable transportation. an incentive that america needs to get on because let’s face it, the u.s. can’t afford to keep buying oil.

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