Thursday, August 21, 2014

México: I'm a Cyclist, Too, But For Cycling in the Mexican Capital, the Jury May Still Be Out

According to EFE, 35 cyclists participated in Desafio Modal 2014, an event organized to show that bicycles are the best mode of transportation in Mexico City.

Tuesday’s (August 19) 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 López 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 designated winner.

“The goal of the challenge is to show that we can get around our cities efficiently by using bicycles,” National Urban Cycling Network (BICIRED) spokesman Javier Cañez told EFE.

The event, which was organized by BICIRED and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), was intended to get the Finance Secretariat to create a “fund for non-motorized mobility” and pay for infrastructure projects focusing on cyclists and pedestrians, Cañez said.

COMMENT: According to the below link, the 2014 Crime and Safety Report for Mexico City identifies the criminal threat in the Mexican capital as “CRITICAL,” which is the HIGHEST level of threat the US State Department has in its four-tier categories of “Critical, High, Medium and Low” threat:

Inasmuch as the Mexican capital has been designated CRITICAL threat for crime for several years, one must conclude that solo cyclists are at much greater risk of being criminally victimized than those participating in group events sponsored by BICIRED or ITDP.

In the absence of any empirical, quantitative data that demonstrates what risks cyclists face in Mexico City, one can presume that Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa, 48, an attorney and politician affiliated with the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) has not ordered a victimization study of solo cyclists in the capital so that resident bicyclists are aware of the threat they face as solo cyclists.