Mexico City Prioritizes the Safety of CyclistsBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Wed, 05/12/2021 - 10:55
The Sustainable Mobility Commission of the Mexico City Congress gave green light to Andrés Lajous, Head of the Ministry of Mobility, to continue promoting public policies to protect cyclists and expand, maintain and rehabilitate bicycle lanes in the city, announced the Congress through a press release.
Mexico City saw a total of 11,153 biking accidents in 2020, of which 278 were fatal, previously reported MBN. The lack of proper infrastructure for cyclists has created several deaths and dangers, which ignited different protests throughout the city. “These (accidents) also show a total lack of road culture among public road users, whether they are motorcycle riders, cyclists, or pedestrians. The decrease in street traffic derived from lockdowns, which caused an increase in speeding, is one of the main causes of all the accidents in Mexico City,” said the Mexican Confederation of Business Owners (COPARMEX), reports MBN.
At the beginning of May, cycling groups gathered at the intersection of Álvaro Obregón and Insurgentes in the Roma neighborhood, from where they rode towards Mexico City’s Zocalo to protest poor safety conditions. The group was composed of cyclists and delivery workers who demanded better working conditions and for there to be no more accidents or deaths on the road, reports Milenio. Last week, after the death of a renowned athlete who was run over in the Santa Fe area, Claudia Sheinbaum, Mayor of Mexico City, announced that the city government is considering increasing the penalties for the homicide of cyclists, reports El Heraldo de Mexico. "Of course, it hurts us that this is happening in Mexico City and we have to work so that it does not continue to happen," she said, according to El Heraldo de Mexico. “We are in a position to promote the different actions that will be taken to protect cyclists in Mexico City. The Ministry of Mobility is working on this; the Prosecutor's Office is also working on it and including changes in the Penal Code for aggravating homicides and also administrative actions regarding road safety education.”
The initiative headed by Lajous was promoted by Deputy Alberto Martínez Urincho, who argued for more public policies that promote and incentivize the use of bicycles as means of transportation due to their non-polluting nature. The proposal still needs to be approved by Congress.