The bicycle uprising in cities 

{FAVEL issues}

Forty years ago, a group of citizens in Bogotá invaded the streets with bicycles. This citizen initiative was the beginning of the known ciclovía that brings the streets back to the people. From the initial 5.000 citizens in 1974, the ciclovía has grown to actively move more than 1 million people every Sunday in Bogotá. Today, more than 50 cities in the world have replicated the ciclovía as a mechanism to integrate society and foster healthy cities.

Beginning of the Ciclovía in Bogotá

Source: El Espectador Archives Source: El Espectador Archives

Colombia Reports Colombia Reports

In the same decade (70s) in the old continent, the car-city model invaded Netherlands. They started to destroy houses to built highways for cars and as I mentioned in my previous post children and citizens mobilized to make cycling a priority in the city. (Why is cycling so popular in the Netherlands?). Due to this citizen engagement the government started to change…

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About ramblinginthecity

I am an architect and urban planner, a writer and an aspiring artist. I love expressing myself and feel strongly that cities should have spaces for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, healthy and sick, happy or depressed--we all need to work towards making our cities liveable and lovable communities.

Posted on May 26, 2014, in Urban Planning & Policy. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Nice initiative.
    We need initiatives like this in India too. We hardly care people who ride bicycles in India. We don’t even bother to provide enough space for them to ride through our streets and roads.
    We had an initiative for cycling in our IT campus. But after a few months its almost dead and we don’t even know where the cycles went.

    We are lazy and even to buy something from our nearby kirana store, we use bikes or car. We hardly use cycle or walk to the stores nearby.

      • Riding a bike in Gurgaon is like mobiking in maut ka kuan. BTW lovely initiative and sorry but lousy name (raahgir) keep up the great work. You could also gift me a 2nd hand bike once you publish ramblings as a book.

      • You should visit raahgiri sometime. It’s a car free Sunday around galleria market. You can rent a bike and ride. No cars on the roads!

      • Also it’s not my initiative!

      • Have read about Raahgiri before through your blog itself. But I don’t think its accepted in other parts of India!

      • Citizens need to push for it. Problem is we wait for the govt to do stuff but frankly the govt has very little initiative. It’s burdened by the nitty gritty of running day to day operations and thinking is often archaic.

      • We do but we need to take care of the safety also!
        As of now, on our busy roads, nobody takes care of the cyclists and because of this people are afraid to try cycling. I know personally 2-3 people who love cycling and would love to go to office cycling. But just because of the traffic and carelessness of the people who drives car, bus these guys neglect cycles and go by bikes!

      • yup, I agree. We do need the right infrastructure if people are to change the way they travel

      • Ok let me know the next event. If my knees are ok will come. Nice of you to mention not your initiative so thank whoever started it but you get points for publicising. Keep up the great work and you might be Smriti’s deputy in the next government. Woh meri 2nd hand bike mat bhoolna.

      • Bharat Singh

        Raahgiri is a good start, but it needs to transcend from a upper middle/middle class activity (exercise/recreation) to the masses (economic opportunity) to have a lasting impact on Gurgaon’s inequity in transportation access. Let get some travelling weekly bazaar into the mix so that helps all.

      • Bharat, there are raahgiris sprouting over the city. One in palam vihar happened for a couple of weekends but there has been a rural raahgiri in an urban village that sustains itself well. So clearly there is scope for this to grow but the authorities need to provide more support plus increase NMT infrastructure. It’s a long haul. We’ve only made a tiny start.

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