Moving El Poblado by Walking
By: Maria Fernanda Caballero Mejía
Photo by 360radio.com.co
The 14th colony’s mobility and transportation actual situation, depends on its routes present capacity and some external factors (like permanent vehicles going south from the Valle de Aburrá) but its inhabitants can help too.
Understanding the term “traffic mesh” as the combination of the roads used daily by vehicles, let’s look at the following:
With an extension of 14 square kilometers and a total traffic mesh of 131 kilometers, El Poblado lacks of the number of roads it needs, considering the amount of vehicles moving inside the colony. Also, the existing basic roads show high grades of saturation.
Although the main roads going North-South (Las Vegas and Avenida El Poblado) have good specifications, the hills (very inclined) and the transversals; they don’t have wide sections, which affects their capacity and circulation speed, giving slow vehicle flow as a result.
A similar situation is happening on the colony’s internal service roads, you can see how uneven the roads are by going through El Poblado, the lack of continuous roads and insufficient sections are typical.
The Oficina de Planeación Municipal on its road plan, has a plan of building more service roads and double lanes on several hills of El Poblado, maybe that’s why there are so many constructions everywhere. But meanwhile, how to act?
Its geolocation aggravates the mobility situation, as El Poblado turns into a pass-by colony to go to the other municipalities on the south of the Valle de Aburrá, this contributes to the growing traffic on the river’s corridor -which delivers urban and metro road functions- and the saturation of Avenida El Poblado and Las Vegas. Despite not having concluding estimates about the total of vehicles going through and by this colony’s roads, just by noticing the elevated amount of busses, cabs, privates and motorcycles crossing the colony, the number could be about 100,000 vehicles per day.
The superior education centers which are a great power for the colony’s development; generates “tacos” (“paisa” saying referring to slow and heavy traffic) and congestion peaks, totally irrational, thanks to the abusive use of private transportation.
El Poblado mobility problems are a consequence of not enough road capacity, abusing the private transportation and the busses routes disorder.
Problem aggravates by the absence of the short distance walk.
According to graphics and their understanding, on El Poblado’s development plan, 10% of the trips made inside the colony, are mostly made using a car and motorcycle; is some of them were made by walking, there would be less congestion.
It´s possible to confirm that the colony’s inhabitants consider the car as a prestige symbol, hence the population doesn’t consider the possibility of walking or using another transportation method. According to the results turned in by the Encuesta de Calidad de Vida (ECV 2007) 94,83% of the homes has a vehicle, indicating there are 54,000 private vehicles in El Poblado, giving us an average of 1,48 vehicles per home. That’s an explanation why cabs and busses are not that used on El Poblado.
The numbers turned into by the ECV about the transportation methods are: walking (0,10%); bicycle (5,80%); motorcycle (9,63%); bus (6,43%); casual transportation (1,26%); cab or small bus (5;78%); private vehicle (53,25%), metro (1,19%) SIT Sistema integrado de transporte (0,28%); others (0,22%).
The survey also indicates a high percentage on the colony’s incoming and outgoing trips, 34% is made by private vehicle, almost tripling the Área Metropolitana’s average of (13%). Moving by foot on El Poblado represents only the 2,5%, while in the Área Metropolitana represents a meaningful number of 38%.
Only inside the colony
So, although the pedestrian spaces (according to studies) also are not abundant but narrow and poor; the best way to deal with it is by looking at the bright side: not only we work out by walking; but we also contribute generously to El Poblado being with less vehicle congestion and having better life quality. Let’s walk when doing short trips inside the colony, the city will look different from a different perspective, it will relax your mind and the sector’s knowledge will grow significantly.