Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Then and Now

Alirio and Santiago

Oscar & Alirio
I got a hold of a few interesting pictures of my father-in-law from when he was younger. When riding a bike in South America or at least in Colombia's capital was completely normal as it was to commute on a bicycle.  Just like in Copenhagen and Amsterdam in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. I would like to know at what point the automobile displaced the biker and the pedestrian in favor to the big and invasive highway. One of my earlier posts (video) show how Amsterdam citizens started losing ground against the motor vehicle, but is also shows how they decided to retake the public spaces and give them back to the pedestrian and the bikes. 

In any case, that is unfortunately not the situation in South America. Even though Bogota and the country in general are some of the most bicycle friendly places in the continent, there are for every pedestrian and for every biker, one redneck driver with a huge sense of entitlement.  I wish I had more room here to show you some images of the great public infrastructure accomplished during the government of Enrique Peñalosa and Antanas Mockus; two of the greatest Mayors of Bogota.  Things have changed so drastically since they passed the baton.  Communist-minded governments of today preach for the masses, but don't seem to work for the people.  What a sad state of affairs.
I have deviated from my original thought. My whole point is that as I discovered the pictures, I wanted to create a post to show a side by side comparison of Alirio then and now.  Back then he commuted with his friend Santiago Cruz. Today as he is here in Anchorage visiting us, my wife took a picture of us riding our bikes to the super.

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