Cycling in São Paulo: Tropic of Copenhagen

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Cycling in São Paulo


A city fights its car addiction



SÃO PAULO’S obsession with the automobile is well documented. It first hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1973; a motorway is named after Ayrton Senna, a local son and three-time world champion killed in a crash 20 years ago. The city has 5.6m cars, nearly one for every two people. The result is congestion. Taken together, afternoon jams often exceed 100km (62 miles). One recent study found that the average paulistano spends nearly three hours in daily commutes.
The city’s mayor, Fernando Haddad, says this cannot go on. Since taking office in 2013 he has tried to cajole paulistanos out of cars and onto bicycles. On November 18th a 700-metre stretch of cycle lanes was completed, bringing the total to 179km. Fully 117km have been laid since June, more than in the previous 33 years, when city hall first mulled them. Mr Haddad has …

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