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Friday Fun: Guadalajara’s Informal Bike Lanes

Frustrated and unsatisfied with the city’s efforts in promoting bicycle infrastructure, bicycle advocates in Guadalajara, Mexico took action into their own hands by informally painting bike lanes along the city’s roads through a community event called Ciclovía Ciudadana.

We reported in the past of Guadalajara’s efforts in promoting non-motorized modes of transit. The city’s transition to more sustainable transit has been a gradual one, failing to meet the demands of its outspoken bicycle advocates. In this instance, the disconnection between the city’s efforts and citizens’ expectations has forced advocates to resolve the matters with their own means.

The event’s page compares the city to a wiki page, awarding each participating citizen the title of editor and the right to modify their infrastructure through a deliberative consensus and by a distribution of responsibilities. The effort is, in part, to link public participation with political action and connect active citizens of adjacent communities.

Public input is certainly an important aspect of any planning project. And as exciting as painting your own bike lanes may seem, informal bike lanes, as we see in this video, remain a bit alarming. If we put aside the danger citizens face as they use guerilla-style tactics to redirect traffic, the disintegration of the city’s transit modes may cause further problems in the future, and it certainly contributes to a fragmented road infrastructure.

What is your opinion on Guadalajara’s informal bike lanes?

Have ideas for next week’s Friday Fun? Share them with us at isonuparlak@wri.org

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