GUATEMALA BIKE NETWORK
GUATEMALA CITY BICYCLE NETWORK FRAMEWORK
CATHAL O’MEARA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS
This project was located within the municipality department of Urban Mobility, Guatemala City – who are responsible for planning and managing the city’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network. Funding for the design phase came from Design Without Borders a Norwegian NGO who address humanitarian aid through the medium of appropriate design. The planning phase finished in late 2010, with the publication of a masterplan network of Cycling facilities for Guatemala City.
As the municipality had no expertise in this field the designer’s role involved participatory planning workshops, field research cycles with local cyclists (and the municipality) and the designer becoming an active member of the local cyclist protest group – MasaCritica Guatemala. Existing transport studies were used as a part of the research and fieldwork was undertaken to supplement the lacking data on cyclist movements in the city. The designer also worked with Design students from the partner university, Rafael Landivar who undertook specific research and developed locally relevant bicycle parking proposals.
The renovation of the main shopping street of the City “La Sexta Avenida” saw the construction of the first dedicated cyclist facilities in Guatemala City. Since then over 30 additional kilometers including the “Corridor Central” have been constructed with the network being rolled out on a phased basis.
A public bike rental scheme has also recently opened to link the City’s main university with the BRT network and Public bike parking has been installed at many of the Municipal buildings. The network continues to be rolled out and was recently used successfully as the reelection pledge of the City’s Mayor Alvaro Arzu.