Is the New Mayor the Answer to a Better Bogota?
Enrique Peñalosa, Clara López, Rafael Pardo. These area few names that have been on everyone’s mind in Bogota lately. Everyone’s question has been: What can they do for me, my city and my country? And now the mayor has been elected!
Some believe that corruption is so present that regardless of who gets elected, they have little faith the situation will improve.
However many have hope for a better and safer Bogota. I was curious to find out what changes the citizens of the city hoped the election of a new mayor would bring to Bogota. The answer I got was rather standard. People here just want simple and basic improvements that many other cities take for granted.
This is the most important issue that people care about. When people walk the streets of Bogota, they are always on alert. You can see this when you take the Transmilenio and people keep their bags in the front of their body; When you walk too close to someone in the street, they get frightened. The examples go on and on, but you can see that the citizens of Bogota walk the streets with their four eyes open. As a matter fact, upon coming here, I was given a long list of things to do and things not to do to avoid trouble. At first it was a drag as I had to get used to constantly being on the lookout and always taking precautions. But after a while, you stop thinking about it and get used to living in fear. Isn’t that a sad way for citizens to live?
Pico y placa is just not cutting it. Everyone here complains about traffic whether you ride public transport or drive a car to work. I’m sure people worldwide would stop complaining if they knew how bad traffic was here. The only place that I have heard of that is actually worse then Bogota is Caracas. And we all know how good Venezuela has it right now! It’s not normal to cross 40 streets in one hour when it takes no more than 15 minutes when empty. Pedestrians make it to their final destination quicker than vehicles! It’s ridiculous!
The ‘transmi’ was a first but improvements should be an ongoing process. During rush hour it’s absolutely packed and people want solutions. Whether that means more transmis or the construction of the long time promised metro, people have the right to arrive to work without being a hot mess.
This is what has affected me the most in Bogota. People only care about themselves and don’t think about their community nor the people around them. Whether your driving or trying to get in your designated Transmilenio, no one lets you through. When the bus is full at the doors but there’s space in the back, no one moves to make room for the incoming passengers. When an elderly hops in public transport, no one stands up. When you’re walking the streets, people walk in the middle of the sidewalk instead of on the right and don’t let you through. These are small examples that add up at the end of day and make up the culture of the city. People are aggressive and something needs to be done about it. Wouldn’t the city be a much better place if everyone thought a little bit more about those around them?
let’s hope Peñalosa, Bogota’s new elected mayor lives up to his promises and meets the expectations of the citizens.
What do you think will happen with the new elected mayor? Do you think change is possible? Do you think that security and transportation is too much to ask in the city?