Annex 1 International Case Studies

Mexico City, Mexico – Bicycle Planning

Transportation-related issues present a serious challenge to improving the quality of life for Mexico City’s 19 million residents. Of the 2.5 million tons of pollutants emitted into the city’s air each year, more than 80% is from cars and other motorized vehicles.

Though only 20% of all daily trips in Mexico City are by car, 80% of its physical space is dedicated to travel by car. Seven out of ten Mexican citizens are overweight or obese.(NOTE: is this comment really appropriate)

ITDP is working with the Mexico City government to develop a Bicycle Master Plan that will strengthen cycling as a safe, attractive, healthy and convenient travel option for city residents. The goal of the Master Plan is to increase bicycle trips as a proportion of all trips to 2% by 2010 and to 5% by 2012.

To achieve this goal, the Master Plan project is undertaking a number of key actions:

  • Mobility: design bicycle path networks with an eye for safety, attractiveness, and convenient access to higher-demand destinations and mass transit services; implement measures to calm automobile traffic;
  • Universal access: facilitate easier door-to-door trip-making by strengthening connections between travel modes (e.g., bicycle parking at transit stations);
  • Promotion: implement public campaigns that encourage bicycle use and raise its social status;
  • Managing travel demand: provide disincentives for excessive car travel, such as congestion and parking pricing measures;
  • Legal application: enforcing laws governing urban transportation

Cycle-Ride Sundays

Thousands enjoy car-free streets as Mayor Marcelo Ebrard moves Mexico’s capital into a select group of cities taking bold action to improve the quality of public life.

On Sunday May 13th the Mexico City government, headed by Chief of Government Marcelo Ebrard, began the Ciclo-Paseos, or “Cycle-Rides” program in designated streets. The program encourages city inhabitants to walk, skate, or use bicycles to enjoy the city and promote non-polluting forms of transportation.

The streets chosen consist of a circuit of 14km along the well known Reforma Avenue and others close to the historic city center so that the public can enjoy some of the cultural sites and activities along the ride. Motor vehicles are not allowed on those streets between 7:00 AM and 2:00 PM on Sundays. Many cities in the world have similar programs. Perhaps the best known is Bogotá, Colombia, with its more than 120km of streets that undergo this transformation every Sunday.

The response in Mexico City to the first six Cycle-Ride events has been positive with no serious accidents to report and with an attendance of around 10,000 people. As many as 50,000 people participated when the ride was extended to other streets and had its name changed to “Cycle-thon”. ITDP Mexico has been involved in planning the Cycle-Ride concept and is currently supporting the city government in projects aimed at improving conditions for cyclists and pedestrians.

The challenge for the program now is to keep the good momentum going and to take other integrated actions to promote non-motorized transport as one of the priorities in Mexico City’s Sustainable Mobility Agenda.


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