Carlos Fernando Galan, the mayor-elect of Bogota, Colombia has announced his intention to revive the Green Corridor project along Seventh Avenue. Last week, the proposal, which had the support of the current mayor, Claudia Lopez, was suspended by a Bogota court, leaving the future renovation of one of the city’s main thoroughfares uncertain.
On Monday, a transition meeting took place between the current mayor and the team of the future mayor, who will assume office on January 1, 2024. Following this meeting, Galan announced his desire to modify certain sections of the current Green Corridor proposal to make it viable and ensure its implementation.
It’s worth noting that two citizens, whom Claudia Lopez linked to the New Liberalism party led by Galan, were responsible for getting the court to halt the project. In response to this, the mayor-elect and former candidate swiftly stated, “Do not violate the law, respect the law, and respect the electoral process. This project is flawed and has failed due to your administration, not anyone else.”
Galan’s primary concern is the impact on mobility, which, in his view, would be caused by the concurrent construction of this project with the metro. “This is an improvised project that disrupts mobility, especially in the extended downtown area in the eastern part of Bogota. This is because 11 Avenue and the Circunvalar cannot handle this demand. Additionally, can you imagine having construction on Caracas due to the metro and simultaneously on Seventh Avenue? The city would collapse; it cannot be done like this,” he stated.
Galan, the most continuity-focused mayor
Ironically, this Green Corridor project for Seventh Avenue appears to be the only point of disagreement between the two mayors. Despite his rejection of this project initiated by the Lopez administration, Carlos Galan was the mayoral candidate closest to Claudia Lopez, representing a model of continuity.
The strong rapport between the two politicians was evident in the meeting between both mayors held on Monday, just hours after Galan’s resounding electoral victory in the elections on Sunday, October 29.
Regarding the Green Corridor, with the exception of candidate Juan Daniel Oviedo, who came in second in the mayoral election, all the candidates rejected Claudia Lopez’s proposal.
The revamped Green Corridor proposal
In what some media outlets have described as a change in stance, Galan has now agreed to turn one of Bogota’s main thoroughfares, which traverses the entire city from north to south in the east, into a Green Corridor. However, the mayor-elect proposes certain modifications.
This topic was discussed during the meeting between both mayors. “She informed me of her intention to try to defend the project. I believe this project can be resolved or improved with citizen participation,” said the mayor-elect, referring to his meeting with Claudia Lopez.
The changes proposed by Galan do not affect the northern zone but only pertain to one of the sections that has generated more controversy. “My position was clear; I believe that this project, as outlined in my government program, should continue in the northern corridor from 100th Street northward and be reviewed from 100th Street southward. This is what I have expressed and what I hope will be reflected in my development plan,” the future mayor pointed out.
Although he rejected the project as an “improvised” one during his candidacy, Galan is now considering introducing modifications to ensure its viability. “Not by throwing away what has been done but by reviewing it, allowing citizens to participate, review, and propose improvements to the project to ensure it meets the expectations in terms of public transportation for the city along that corridor, all while actively involving the people,” the future mayor clarified.