Bogota Has Car-Free Day After Smoke From Wildfires Takes Over Colombian City

It’s an experiment in getting back to nature. Sort of.

The city of Bogota, Colombia, decided to go car-free for a day. That means residents had to bike, walk or run to get around town.

“A large part of the capital woke up today with a lower, moderate risk, which is a substantial improvement from recent days of waking up with forest fires,” Bogota Environment Minister Adriana Soto told reporters. “A day without cars and motorbikes is an important opportunity to improve the quality of air and to get about in a different way.”

The car-free day is part of the response to recent wildfires in nearby forests that have inundated Bogota and surrounding areas with smoke.

Reports say firefighters in Colombia put out about eight fires a day in January alone.

On local resident, Lilia Rodriguez, told reporters, “It’s a very good decision for all people in Bogota, from the perspectives of health, wellbeing and recreation.”

If more share her opinion, car-free days could become a more regular occurrence in Bogota and other cities.

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