Photo: Bicycle riding in Mexico
Thirty-five riders participated in Desafio Modal 2014, an event organized to show that bicycles are the best mode of transportation in Mexico City.
Tuesday’s transportation challenge pitted bicycles, automobiles, public transportation, motorcycles and pedestrians against each other, with the competitors vying to get from the San Lazaro Legislative Palace to the World Trade Center in the shortest time possible.
Cyclist Rodolfo Lopez was the first to arrive, covering the seven kilometers (4.3 miles) in 22 minutes and 13 seconds, while the automobile driven by Francisco de Anda reached the World Trade Center in 47 minutes and 55 seconds, or just over twice the time as the winner.
“The goal of the challenge is to show that we can get around our cities efficiently by using bicycles,” National Urban Cycling Network, or Bicired, spokesman Javier Cañez told Efe.
The event, which was organized by Bicired and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, or ITDP, was intended to get the Finance Secretariat to create a “fund for nonmotorized mobility” and pay for infrastructure projects focusing on cyclists and pedestrians, Cañez said.
“The idea is to reduce the use of automobiles, (and) cut down on accidents and pollution in the cities,” Cañez said.
Some 65 percent of the 13 billion pesos ($996 million) spent on transportation in 2012 went toward expanding and maintaining highways, while only 4 percent was spent on better pedestrian access and 1 percent on cyclists, the ITDP said.