14+ Million Plays of Livable Streets Vids!
Browse Terms of Use

Enrique Peñalosa talks with COMMUTErs

Yesterday, Bogotá, Colombia's most famous former mayor and livable streets hero, Enrique Peñalosa, presented many of his transportation and livable space achievements to Communities United for Transportation Equity (COMMUTE!) a recently-formed partnership between the Pratt Center for Community Development and community organizations in low-income neighborhoods around the city.

Joan Byron, Director of the Sustainability and Environmental Justice says, "We hope that Enrique Peñalosa's vision and political courage will inspire our own elected officials to stand up for the communities they represent and seize the opportunity congestion pricing presents to collect a very small amount of money from the most affluents and best-subsidized group of commuters - those who drive to Manhattan."

Here we present some of the Q&A and highlights of the event.

<br> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Elena Conte:</i> [00:00] Hi everyone, my name is Elena Conte. I’m the organiser for COMMUTE. We’re extremely honoured to be joined by Enrique Penalosa at this crucial moment to advance equity for New York City. The example of Bogota, a city similar to New York, plagued with environmental burdens that disproportionately impact the poorest people. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Enrique Penalosa:</i> [00:19] They’re much issue that have to do with equity. Equity and the way cities are organised. Many of the decisions that are made very often have very profound social implications that we are not so conscious of. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Michelle de la Uz:</i> [00:34] Can you tell us what have been the political implications of the decisions that you made when you were Mayor? And what are some of the biggest indications of success and/or some of the things that the critics continue to say?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Enrique Penalosa:</i> [00:49] What important is the vision of the city change for people. I think people now realise how important it is to have quality pedestrian spaces, which in our case again I will say is not just… they are for dignity and for equality. We want to increase, for example, bicycle ridership from almost 0% to almost 5% so it’s almost 350,000 ride bicycles to work everyday today. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Ben Fried:</i> [01:13] One of the big arguments that the opponents of congestion pricing have been here pretty much since the beginning is this kind of populist idea that it’s a tax on working people who have to drive into the city.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Enrique Penalosa:</i> [01:28] Low income people by a large majority do not drive into the city, but 95% of low income people take public transport into the city. Again, there are many arguments that you could say for that. I mean one is that you are going to invest this money in improving public transport. Secondly, that many things that are harmful to health are taxed, even if poor people use them. For example, you have very heavily taxed cigarettes and poor people smoke cigarettes. And you have a very heavily taxed alcohol and poor people drink alcohol. If we agree that the cars have very significant social costs to society because they kill people because they pollute the air, this is another argument why there should be this tax.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Elena Conte:</i> [02:16] What COMMUTE is fighting for basically is better access to mass transit in the communities that serve the low income and communities of colour, and one of the ways that people need that to happen is with a really aggressive Bus Rapid Transit system.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Enrique Penalosa:</i> [02:29] I will make more emphasis than in doing many bus ways, which I have a little bit [unintelligible 02:34] of commute, that I will do a top quality first one with under passes where it’s possible, so I will not have to stop at traffic lights, or else with electronic systems that they will change the lights in favour of the bus, with improvements in pedestrian infrastructure. It’s important that people in the neighbourhoods where this bus way goes, that they should perceive that this is not just a transport system, but that this is an urban improvement project. So as much as you invest in doing the infrastructure necessary to the bus, you do also improvements in lighting, in sidewalks, in trees, so that people, once they see this system in one neighbourhood, they will want it for their neighbourhood as well. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Anna Vincenty:</i> [03:20] It’s very difficult for us to try to convince people of how good this would work. If it would be implemented is because most of the people that we’re trying to convince feel that all of this is just going to be done for Manhattan. So it would have to go and be done in a place where it would take the poor working class straight through so that this way they can really and truly understand how well it could work, and the benefits of it</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Enrique Penalosa:</i> [03:45] It is very important that these groups of yours support this initiative. And I agree fully with you, one it would go all the way into Manhattan, not just drop the people in the nearest subway station so they have to go into… but that it will go all the way and that it would be really high quality. Thank you and I wish all the luck. I’m very happy to be here with you and thank you very much again. Thank you.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[applause]</font> <br> </p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Elena Conte:</i> [04:13] Thank you. Thank you so much. </font> <br></p> http://transcriptdivas.ca/transcription-canada/
0 Comments
Embed Code

Embed This on Your Site