Mayors Office: Bicycles for Bogotá

DAVID LOUIS UNIMAN //
Director of Cycling in the Mayors Office //
Bogotá //
July 5th 2017 //  

I met David for a drink towards the North of Bogota. David works for the Mayor Enrique Peñalosa Londoño as the Director of cycling. He is designing Bogotá’s public bicycle system, which has gained international recognition over the past 20 years.

Cycling is very popular in Colombia. In Bogotá. You can see cyclists and pedestrians reclaim the city’s streets from motorists every week during the Ciclovía, or car-free Sundays.

Back in 1996 Bogotá started to put in place the infrastructure and policies needed to promote cycling as an alternative to motor vehicles. Bicycles were included in the city’s urban master plan and transport strategy.

As part of the plan, the city government built the CicloRuta system, which now has three cycle route networks. The Main Network links the city centre and the most populated residential areas, and connects with the Secondary Network. The Secondary Network connects residential areas, parks, and attractions, and provides links to TransMilenio, the city’s bus rapid transit system. The Complementary Network comprises bike paths that run along riverbanks and wetlands surrounding the city, and links to recreational areas and external routes.

David is very passionate about understanding the complexity of the city, how people occupy it and move through it. He studied Industrial Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and later studied Transport Engineering and Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.

He completed a PHD, and worked with the London Underground for his thesis. He developed a strategy to optimise the travel times and passenger experience, which has been used by TFL.

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