Bogotá restricted car and motorcycle traffic for one day to reduce pollution in the Colombian capital, one of the largest metropolises in Latin America.
From 05:00 local (10:00 GMT) this Thursday and for 16 hours, the usually congested avenues will only be traveled by motorized public service vehicles.
Other private vehicles can do it with special permits. Those who violate the ordinance must pay a fine equivalent to 105 dollars.
In a first balance of the day before the media, the mayor of the city, Claudia López, celebrated the contribution of the measure to the reduction of pollution in the city of eight million inhabitants.
“We are making a day without a car (car) and without a motorcycle that stops emitting 51% of tons of carbon dioxide that would be polluting our city and today they are not doing it,” he said.
The authorities anticipate that emissions of mp 2.5, a microscopic material that affects health, will be reduced by 43%.
The “Day without a car” has been celebrated in Bogotá since 2000 at least once a year. In 2020 and 2021 it was not held due to the pandemic.
According to data from the mayor’s office, at least 1.8 million cars and almost 470,000 motorcycles currently circulate in Bogotá. Independent studies place it as one of the ten most congested metropolises in the world.
The use of bicycles has been promoted for some time to decongest the roads.
“It’s nice to see Bogotá like this. It is important for the planet, against global warming and to reduce pollution,” Juan Pablo Ramírez, a merchant who was taking photos from a pedestrian bridge on an almost empty highway in the heart of the city, told AFP.
According to a 2021 study by the international NGO Greenpeace, the levels of mp 2.5 in Bogotá “frequently exceed the guidelines” of the World Health Organization and road transport is the main cause of air pollution.
The neighboring towns of Chía and Mosquera – which provide workers to the capital – and Cali (southwest) applied the same measure on Thursday.