Photo: No Car Day in Bolivia
The first ever “Day of the Pedestrian” in Bolivia was celebrated in most of the country with parades and outdoor activities for peoples of all ages.
The idea of a vehicle-free day is not new; Several Latin American cities have held their own days dedicated to pedestrians and bicyclists, usually with great success and the exciting promise of more to come.
Sunday’s Day of the Pedestrian in Bolivia however, marked the first time a country restricts all motor vehicle access through the streets of nine of its most important cities simultaneously.
Estimates indicate that some 2 million cars stayed parked and only 700 vehicles were granted permits to operate. Fines for anyone driving Sunday were doubled, as well as their vehicles were towed away for the day.
President Evo Morales rose early and jogged 3.8 miles from the Presidential Residence to the Government Palace and back.
Ironically, Morales’ own “First National Pedestrian and Bicyclist in Defense of Mother Earth Day” was celebrated amid heavy criticism against the president’s intent on building a 185 mile highway through the Isiboro-Secure national Park in the Amazon rainforest.