Solving Cities

Bolivian cities ban car for 'Day of the Pedestrian'

Bolivian cities ban car for 'Day of the Pedestrian'

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For one day, nine of Bolivia's biggest cities banned cars, even public transportation, during the country's first annual "Day of the Pedestrian." And they had a lot of fun doing it.

When cars are banned from the streets in the U.S. it's Carmageddon. In Bolivia it's a celebration.

Last Sunday, nine of Bolivia's biggest cities banned cars, even public transportation, to allow people to take over the streets for one day during the country's first annual "Day of the Pedestrian."

The event took 2 million cars off the road to raise environmental awareness, the BBC reports.

In Bolivia's main city, La Paz, the BBC's Mattia Cabitza was engulfed by a sea of young people taking part in a marathon, and the usually congested streets were instead occupied by street artists and other performers.

Exercise instructors taught tai-chi to passers-by while some Bolivians were seen dressed up as zebras, playing hopscotch in the road, Reuters reports.

President Evo Morales, an avid sportsman, was up early, jogging, and joked that his vice-president could not keep up with him.

"Children and young people should take over the streets to do sports. But I'm sorry that our vice-president was left behind," he said.

The U.S. has an event called Park(ing) Day, where people take over parking spaces and turn them into creative civic spaces to show the need of more public spaces for people rather than cars. But the Bolivian event takes that idea to another level. Not only are there no cars on the road for a day but the day is supported by the government. Plus, everyone is able to have fun and enjoy the streets. But that's not surprising because people are way more fun than traffic jams. Check out the video:

Photo: wili_hybrid/Flickr

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure