Retires, residents and Costa Ricans who live in or near San José know that efforts are being made to reduce the growing traffic problem. There are now several commuter train lines which transport people from the suburbs and neighboring towns to San José. Car pooling and bus travel have also been encourage to help alleviate the problem as are staggered work schedules. License plate restrictions during the work week have also been instituted. Finally, several bridges are being widened to make the flow of traffic more fluid.
The latest effort is to encourage those living near San José to commute by bicycles. In Fact, the San José Municipality inaugurated a two-kilometer stretch of bike path in 2015. The route is part of a seven-km bike path to connect La Sabana, west of the capital, to the University of Costa Rica campus, east of the city. The neighboring city of Cartago has a similar program and even rents bicycles.
The latest effort to encourage people to use bikes to commute are biciparqueos or bicycle parking lots. Around 40 sites have been chosen for bike racks by taking into account their proximity to public services, train and bus stations, recreational sites, schools and universities. The transportation ministry already has preliminary designs for short- and long-term bicycle parking options including bike racks, lockers and parking lots at public buildings. Among the proposed sites MOPT selected are the Supreme Court, the Social Security System (Caja) headquarters, the Supreme Elections Tribunal, the Central Bank, the Plaza de la Cultura, the National Stadium, the Pacific and Atlantic train stations, the National Library, the Costa Rican Art Museum in La Sabana Park, the Costa Rica Institute of Technology in Barrio Amón, and various public banks.
The ministry even conducted an on-line survey in December so that the public could weigh in about the proposed sites of the biciparqueos.
Let’s hope that the government continues to look for long-term solutions to the traffic problem.