It seems that Bogota is getting more full with cars every day and the traffic jams are evolving into a very large showroom of cars and horses.
To me it is unbelievable that there are basically no rules in traffic. Taking over on the right, speeding, passing in a red light, parking on the right line of a street or a even the highway, picking up customers with your taxi or bus while parked in the middle lane of 3, using the lane for oncoming traffic to by pass the trancon (traffic jam), even it is pretty normal to see both oncoming lanes also used and last week a taxi that I blocked for doing so, decided to take the sidewalk just as easy.
Again I have to write to Mr. Samuel Moreno, Mayor of Bogota and I want to address myself also to the police chief in charge of all the traffic controllers and police officers on the streets:
CAN YOU PLEASE DO SOMETHING USEFUL WITH THE LAWS THAT THIS GREAT COUNTRY HAS???
With me, all my (Colombian) family and friends, would like to know why you only care about people driving in the middle of the day without lights while outside the city? How many accidents or deaths are caused because of that?
Ah and of course Pica Placa (basically a limit of driving depending on your license plate). I like the idea, but when you see 5 cars passing through a red light and one car that is 5 minutes into the limited hours, does it not make more sense to give a ticket to the ones that actually are a danger to others????
I know it is not easy to organize this all and possibly we need more money for it, but I have a great suggestion to start with.
Lets put some cameras on poles that register automatically the ones that speed, drive through a red light, use the wrong lane etc. The great thing of this idea is that these camera poles pay for themselves and than some. In Holland there are many of them and annually with only 17million inhabitants that actually drive pretty decently, we manage to raise 550.000.000 EUROS!!! I bet you that we could raise the same amount in one month in Bogota!
With that money, we can pay for more policemen and finally repair all the holes that Bogota now is getting more famous for again. Bogota still is the second city (after Mumbai I think) with the most holes in the streets per capita! What a disgrace! Please Mr. Moreno go and have a look at the street at Autopista Norte with 106 or something…a big hole has been created of about 100meters long and nobody is fixing it, its like being on a safari but without the pretty animals…really a disgrace for the city and its people. (UPDATE: seems that my plead helped; this particular street is now fixed, but as always the quality of the roads are amazingly bad, after 2 days there are already bumps appearing! Mr. Moreno, please fire these incompatent constructors or supervisors, it will save us a lot of money again!)
Back to the plan. Put the cameras and the money will come. Besides that, train the police officers so that they actually help traffic and not make it worse. Right now many of them are just standing talking on their phones or blowing a whistle and waving that really does not serve for anything. Give them training on how to manage traffic flows and how to write tickets for people that mess up the city! I know you are convinced that there will always be traffic jams, but that is not a reason to give up completely on solving some of it!
I beg you…
Ps. for anyone reading this, please do not mistake me for a foreigner that thinks he knows everything better, ask any Bogotanian and they will complain about the traffic and the police not doing anything useful to help.
Ps 2. I just learned that if you google “trancon” (traffic jam), the first thing you will see is a picture of traffic jams in Bogota!