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Bogotá referendum results and next steps

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  • ecopl@n.adsl
    For latest Bogotá results: see http://ecoplan.org/votebogota2000/ Paris, 31 October 2000 Dear Colleagues, Further to our last minute advisory note of last
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2000
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      For latest Bogotá results: see http://ecoplan.org/votebogota2000/

      Paris, 31 October 2000

      Dear Colleagues,

      Further to our last minute advisory note of last week to which several dozen
      of you had time to respond so generously with your ideas and encouragement,
      I think it only fair that we now report to you on the results of the
      path-breaking Bogotá car free referendum.

      The short story is that the vote went exceptionally well. Both of the
      propositions advanced for public approval (i.e., the proposal for the
      continuation of the Car Free Day each year and that for a set of progressive
      private car restrictions that are to result in an effectively 'car free
      city' during peak hour traffic hours each working day by 2015) obtained
      strong majority votes. There is one possible fly in the anointment about
      which we shall know more only in a few days, concerning the possibility that
      the 2015 program may not have had a sufficient number of total votes to
      qualify; but this is being hotly debated (it is very close) and in the
      meantime there are still 8% of the votes to be tabulated. Equally important
      the just-elected new mayor whose term begins in 2001 has indicated that he
      intends to continue the broad lines of the program that Mayor Peñalosa has
      started. (You will see all the latest details of this on the Vote Bogotá
      2000 site at http://ecoplan.org/votebogota2000/.)

      From an international policy perspective, it is hard to give too much stress
      to the importance of these accomplishments. This is, to my way of seeing
      things, not just some isolated sui generis development in some far away and
      very different city, but the opening shot in the war to move to better,
      cleaner and more equitable transport in cities around the world. A major
      pattern break! The accomplishments of these embattled planners, politicians
      and citizens of that one war-strafed city have managed to do more with their
      work on the ground and in their active partnerships with their fellow
      citizens in the last several years and with this one vote than all of the
      international transport and environment conferences, pious statements of
      intent, empty recommendations, thick reports and other forms of arm-chair
      rhetoric put together. The mayor and the people of Bogotá are pointing
      their way to the city transport system of the 21st century, a radically
      different and far better model to the one that has dominated policy circles
      and practice of the last century.

      Which brings me to the last stage in the present process of action between
      the international expert, policy and practice community and our good friends
      Bogotá - one that will hopefully involve you. With the main results now in,
      we invite public international discussion of both the program behind the
      referendum and the results as follows.

      * You are invited to address your observations and comments to the moderated
      Discussion Forum with an email addressed to Carfreeday@egroups.com.
      * We would ask that you label all emails as follows: "Bogota Referendum
      Discussions" (without the quotes).
      * You can freely consult the Discussion Forum (at
      http://www.egroups.com/messages/carfreeday/) at any time to see yours and
      all other messages and materials sent in.

      In closing I would encourage you to have a good look at the rather good
      background materials which we and the Bogotá team have assembled in the Vote
      Bogotá site before sharing your comments with the group. And if you have
      any colleagues or lists who you think could be usefully approached with this
      invitation, we hope that you will not hesitate to share these materials as
      you see fit.

      This has been an extraordinary accomplishment. So let us see if we can now
      do what is needed to get these important messages out for all to see and
      profit from.

      Eric Britton

      ecopl@n ___ technology, economy, society ___
      Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara, 75006 Paris, France
      Eric.Britton@... URL www.ecoplan.org
      Telephone +331 4326 1323
      Voice/Videoconference +331.4441.6340 (1-4)
      Fax + Voicemail: +1 888 522 6419 (toll free)
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