Bicycle Diaries: Light rail, Part II

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Light rail, Part II

Mexico City plans
for bigger, better bike paths

2 March 2007: El Universal Viernes reports that the city government has unveiled a series of projects and programs designed to encourage city residents to use bicycles more often. This includes bigger, better bike paths, bike stations, and other initiatives.
Capital officials inaugurated the first bike station along the old Cuernavaca train tracks, a route that has since been converted into a bike path.

Meanwhile, the bike path inaugurated four years ago by the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has fallen into a state of deterioration. Some stretches, like the bike lane that crosses through Álvaro Obregón precinct and the trails of Chapultepec Park, have been forgotten and in some places in vaded by vehicular traffic.

Environment Secretary Martha Delgado Peralta suggested problems with the existing bike path "have to do mostly with cargo vehicles that use the lane reserved for bicycles."

One local official said he is working on a plan to integrate stretches of the bike paths that are rarely used, in an attempt to sort out these problems.

The Corridors for Non-motorized Transportation program is contemplating the construction of smaller pathways within individual precincts and linking them up with a more extensive inter-precinct network, and establishing interconnnected green belts throughout the city.

However, Delgado declined to offer details regarding the new routes until the Master Bike Path Plan has been completed.

The local official did say the goal of the current administration is to boost the number of daily bicycle trips within the city from the current level of 0.7 percent of the overall daily traffic, to 2 percent within three years, and to eventually reach 5 percent.

For his part, Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard announced a measure intended to stimulate public cycling: beginning the first Monday of April, city government office-holders will be asked to travel to work on bicycles.

"We should start with ourselves to set an example," he said.

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