Jim was impressed with the new record of traffic in the city last night, a whopping 293Km.
|Sao Paulo's record 293Km traffic jam seen from a Helicopter, Friday, June 1st|
Just to give you a reference, when Gil and I left Sao Paulo in July of 1998, the record of traffic in the city was 220Km, and it happened in one of our epic floods.
I will never forget that afternoon, because I drove into a parking lot at Paulista Avenue and went into a movie theater at Center 3, right across from Conjunto Nacional, and I watched the English Patient., and I cried more than I had ever cried in any movie ever, until that point. Dam long movie and when I came out, voila, traffic was all gone. I love a good Sao Paulo traffic, the perfect excuse to go watch a movie by myself... ( Gilson hates going to the movies ) ...ok, I know, I know, you thinking, side tracking, side tracking alert, I hear you!!
|Marginal Pinheiros, a place you don't ever want to be near rush hour! EVER!!!!|
|Praca Roosevelt, over 23 de Maio Avenue, near downtown!! Rush hour any day!|
My sister Debora, yes, the same one from the ever so popular blog post My sister Deborah and the Peabody's Ducks , has a Dental Clinic walking distance from her home, she walks to work every day, and walk home for lunch.
My other sister, Daniela, is also a Dentist and she lives in the outskirts of Sao Paulo, where they don't have such a big deal with traffic, and she lives close to a train station, so she has the option of taking a train to her Dental Clinic as well.
My father also has an office, you guessed it, walking distance from his home. They rarely ever drive, unless they are going to the grocery store or leaving the city.
My point with all these examples is to show you that the locals adapt, and fast.
You move closer to work, walking distance is better, or you work close to your home, simple.
Gilson and I were just in Sao Paulo last month ( Post about our trip in the near future ), and we both noticed a HUGE improvement in public transportation, all over the city, new trains in the suburb, newer, better buses with A/C and even TV monitors in many of them. The subway is going further than ever imagined by us, new subway stations are popping up everywhere, they are beautiful, safe and modern, it really is refreshing to see all the progress.
Sao Paulo day by day becomes more pedestrian friendly, even considering the absurd amount of new cars popping up like mushrooms all over Sao Paulo ( and Brazil ), mind you, President Dilma just slashed taxes on new cars, IPI ( Imposto sobre Produtos Industrializados - Tax over Industrialized Products ), which is just gonna impulse many people into buying a new car, some are even 20% cheaper with the new tax cut.
Here is another, new way the locals are adapting to the chaotic traffic jams.
I just learned today about the new Bike Sampa system, these are new bike rental stations, already common in the Boston area and many other American and European cities, Rio also has the system already implemented.
Now it's Sao Paulo's turn, and the plans are ambitious, 300 Bike rental stations in 3 years, with 3000 bicycles available for rent.
6 new bike rental stations were just opened this week at Vila Mariana region, they are 1 kilometer a part from each other.
Follow these easy steps:
1- You have to become a member online, at www.bikesampa.com, for free.
2- Make an online deposit of U$5,00 ( R$10.00), using a credit or debit card.
3- When you decide to rent you must call 4063-3111 and get a code to unlock your bicycle, if you have a smart phone you can download an application to get your "unlock code" automatically thru your cell phone.
4- The bikes can be used for 30 minutes free of charge, you must pay R$5,00 (U$2.50) for every additional 30 minutes.
5- Bikes will be available between 6am and 11pm, every day.
HERE is the original report from UOL in Portuguese.
|New Sao Paulo "Bike Sampa" bike rental station-Vila Mariana-Sao Paulo|
6 New bike rental stations in Sao Paulo:
Estações ativas do Bike Sampa:
|Largo Senador Raul Cardoso, em frente à Cinemateca|
|Instituto Biológico||Rua Morgado de Mateus junto à rua Rodrigues Alves, próximo ao Instituto Biológico|
|Capitão Macedo||Rua Capitão Macedo, próximo à rua Botucatu|
|Humberto I||Rua Humberto I, próximo à Rua Joaquim Távora|
|Rio Grande||Rua Rio Grande junto à Rua Joaquim Távora|
|Faculdade Belas Artes||Rua Álvaro Alvim, em frente à Faculdade de Belas Artes|
I hope this information helps someone use the new system, and if you do, please give us your feedback!