Every Sunday in Colombia’s capital is car-free—and people love it

Cars may be the champion of travel on rural roads, but they are a pain in the ass in cities, creating congested streets and polluted air that pedestrians have to travel through. This is especially the case in the buzzing capital of Colombia, which is home to more than 1,600,000 private cars.

Strolling through the high-altitude city of Bogotá can be a nightmare most days of the week, but that all changes on Sundays. That’s because every Sunday, without fail, all motor-driven vehicles are banned from cruising on the streets, opening up a little over 75 miles of roadway for citizens to bike, skate, run, or simply walk on.

The weekly miracle is called Ciclovía, and it’s become a celebration of sorts as more than a million Bogotanos come out every Sunday to bike, walk, or relax. The Ciclovía also has fun stops along the way for people’s enjoyment, like a salsa band that is playing on the sidewalk or a Zumba instructor dancing with elderly people.

The weekly occasion in Bogotá displays that when we take cars out of the equation, life in the city can actually be quite beautiful for pedestrians. Plus, it removes tons of smog from the air.

This story was one of the best from 2019, and we are happy to include it in our “12 Days of Optimism” as we get ready to welcome 2020!

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