Posted by: Zack Benedetto | March 7, 2013

Active Transportation Takes Over


Ciclovías are events when roads are closed off to cars for a length of time in order to allow  for a great amount of active transportation during that time. The ciclovía movement is being implemented in many cities. In the above video, it is shown how in Guadalajara,  64 kilometers (40 miles) are closed off every Sunday for 6 hours. Over 200,000 pedestrians, bicyclists, and other active transporters take the streets for the whole time. It seems almost like a festival in that there are so many people who come just to enjoy the event, rather than actually using the roads for means of transportation. Having this event also encourages people to use active transportation more in their every day lives and not just on Sundays, because it makes everything less crowded, less noisy, and it is exercise.


These ciclovías first started 35 years ago in Bogotá, Columbia. The event is significant because it brings in the idea that cars and other automobiles are not over-dominant and do not own the roads. Transportation engineers should design roads to convey this idea more, by including more distinct bike lanes or running lanes. The roads are for the equal use of all modes of transportation. Longer duration ciclovías also prove that society does not depend entirely on cars, and that people can still have effective ways of traveling, as they did before the invention of the automobile.



  1. Ciclovías not only sound like a great deal of fun, but provide communities with interesting and creative ways of transportation – ones that do not utilize automobiles. I would be interested in learning about implementing this idea into American cities such as New York or Chicago. Would this method be possible in the United States? And if we could hold our own ciclovías for a few hours, I am interested to see how such events would effect our communities, both environmentally and economically.

  2. You just made my day with this video. I was actually born a few hours away from Guadalajara and this is the first time I hear about this event. I think events like this help people realize that they can get to places without depending on vehicles. I think big cities in the United States should do similar events. Six hours of no vehicles on a road car help decrease some pollution and can motivate people to ride their bicycles.

  3. This seems like a great strategy for getting people to switch to more active methods of transportation. The time periods could be extended to multiple days if only supply trucks were allowed to businesses within the zone. It might be possible to effect a permanent change in certain areas.

  4. THis is a really great idea, not only does it encourage people to be more active, it also helps the environment. If more countries and cities adapted this idea, I can only imagine the reduction in emissions. Are any cities in the US looking into this idea?

  5. This is a really innovative idea. It forces people to use more active transportation to get around the roads that are closed off to other forms of transportation. I wish we had something like this either in my town or maybe something like it in Easton. It would be interesting to see how it would affect people on campus. I think more initiatives like this one need to be taken to ensure people will try to use more environmentally friendly vehicles. It is also much better for people’s health to walk or bike rather than sitting in a car for so long.

  6. This is a really interesting post! Typically, we assume active transportation rates are so low because people are simply too lazy or too rushed. However, the support for the ciclovías shows that low active transportation rates may not be due to laziness or hurriedness but rather to the fact that our transportation system is just not pedestrian-friendly enough. Perhaps by putting more effort into improving the active transportation experience in our transportation systems, we will see a rise in active transportation.

  7. I think this is a great way of making people more aware of active transportation, and this awareness can indirectly lower the environmental impact people have on the environment with vehicular transportation. I think the event is a great idea. It can let people do an activity they enjoy, it can bring a local community together actively, it promotes better health, it decreases the amount of cars on the road, which decreases air pollution, and all the like. This idea really reminds me of the Bike Tour in NYC. This tour takes you through the boroughs of NY, and streets are closed down so that bikers can enjoy their riding experience while visiting other places. This event is really motivational and inspiring; I hope this idea can catch on to other local areas, especially because it seems pretty simple to do (besides planning how to close down certain roads), it’s not expensive, and it’s environmentally and socially friendly. I really like this.

  8. This is a very interesting idea. The Ciclovías focus on decreasing air pollution from vehicles but I am surprised that so many people actually participate in these events. It seems like one big festival or party and everyone just goes out on the roads to have fun. I think we should try out this idea in the United States and see if we can get the same response. I think if we did it on college hill on a weekend everyone would come out and have fun on the roads.

  9. Hey, thanks for the link to our video. It’s definitely a wonder to behold, so many people and so many miles just for all of us to enjoy outside of our ‘cages’.

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