Escudo de la República de Colombia

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Implementing the Bogotá subway would change land use

In Bogotá, the area known as Portal de las Américas will have an impact in land use diversification and densification, i.e. buildings will increase as well as commerce and service offerings.

Bogotá D. C., 19 de agosto de 2016Agencia de Noticias UN-

The Washington subway was one of the systems analyzed.

This transportation system will increase commerce and construction.

Authorities hope to improve mobility in Bogotá.

Bicycles are used in different cities around the world to get to the subway stations.

The Boston subway began working in 1897.

To analyze how land use would change in Bogotá after building the subway, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Civil Engineer Lisa Losada compared four cities similar to Bogotá which already have a subway system. 

The researcher analyzed the cities in the U.S. with a subway and discarded the largest in terms of inhabitants, amount of subway stations, and length of subway lines, among other aspects. 

At the end she included the systems in Boston, Washington, Atlanta and the Colombian city of Medellín, because it is the only city in Colombia with a subway. 

She analyzed 9 features of each transportation system including year of foundation of the city, size, population density, metropolitan area population, mass transport system, year of beginning of operations, length of the subway system, amount of stations and amount of passengers a day. 

To carry out a statistical analysis she considered the population and the land use before and after building the subway system. 

According to Losada, it was necessary to review different sources of information which led her to establish the total study area. Around the subway lines she analyzed 500 meters (1,640 ft.) for walking distances and 1,000 meters, (3,281 ft.) for non-motorized systems such as bicycles. The information was gathered and processed with Esri GIS  ArcGIS 10.1 software. 

She also analyzed the transportation policies of each city including the mobility plan, which is the roadmap for the next 20 years. 

For Bogotá she studied the first subway line which hopes to tend to 90,000 passengers for the year 2021 and would have 27 stations in its 27 kilometers (16.7 miles). 

Some of the goals were to determine if land use would diversify, in other words, if the commerce, residential, services and industry areas would increase and identify this densification; and if building and investment would increase around the subways lines. 

In Bogotá, only the area of the Portal de las Américas will be impacted as there will be, according to plans, a train station before they reach the garages. 

Furthermore the area will have more buildings and with more stories. Additionally it will not only be a residential area but commerce and services offerings also will increase, so it will be a transportation attraction point. 

“People will feel it is easy to get there to do any type of thing, such as pay bills, go to the bank, go shopping but also study and hang-out,” she said. 

Among the results is that the effect on the cities that have a subway system are positive as the policies are focused in providing greater care and safety to the areas where the stations are located, having greater accessibility opportunities, i.e. more parking areas and places to park bicycles. 

Lastly she found that different from other cities the current Bogotá mobility plan does not include accurate policies to concomitantly support the subway system. 

For instance Boston has public bicycles in different points around the city for people to get to the subway. In Medellín, the subway is considered the main mobility axis of the city and the remaining transportation systems are focused on feeding its lines. 

Losada says that the cities analyzed have the entire support and logistics around the subway system; therefore they have greater mobility. If these types of actions are not foreseen and they are thought of in isolated manner most likely they will not succeed.

(Por: Fin/VC/DMH/APBL
)
N.° 307

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