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Bogota car free referendum results and next steps

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  • ecopl@n.adsl
    For latest Bogotá results: see http://ecoplan.org/votebogota2000/ Paris, 2 November 2000 We thought that you might be interested to see the results of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2000
      For latest Bogotá results: see http://ecoplan.org/votebogota2000/

      Paris, 2 November 2000

      We thought that you might be interested to see the results of the
      extraordinary path-breaking Bogotá car free referendum that took place last

      The short story is that the vote went exceptionally well. Both propositions
      advanced for public approval (i.e., the proposal for the continuation of the
      Car Free Day each year, and the far more ambitious call 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 can see all the latest details of this on
      the Vote Bogotá 2000 site at http://ecoplan.org/votebogota2000/.)

      To my way of thinking, it is hard from an international policy perspective
      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 rather the opening
      shot in the war to move by a deep seated democratic process 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
      accomplishments on the city streets and in their active partnerships with
      their fellow citizens in the last several years and with this one vote, than
      all of the international conferences, pious statements of intent,
      theoretical 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 creative
      interaction between the international expert, policy and practice community
      and our good friends Bogotá - one that will possibly 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 considered observations and comments to
      the moderated Discussion Forum with an email addressed to
      * Please be so kind as to label all emails as follows: "Bogotá 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 due course we intend to fashion these comments into an overview piece in
      an attempt to put the best and most useful of these points and
      recommendations into the much deserved high relief. This final synopsis
      will be given extensive international and media circulation.

      In closing I would encourage you to have a good look at the rather good
      background materials 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, please do not
      hesitate to share these materials as you see fit.

      This has been an extraordinary accomplishment on their part in Bogotá. 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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