Those Latin Americans who can afford one are just as wedded to the car as their counterparts north of the Rio Grande. And thanks to the region’s long boom, more and more have bought vehicles. That is leading both to terrible traffic jams in many of the region’s cities—and to the swift spread of efforts to promote urban cycling.
Following in the tyre-tracks of Bogotá and Mexico City, the regional pioneers, the latest capital to boost the bike is Buenos Aires. In January, while sitting on one of the city’s bright-yellow public bicycles the mayor, Mauricio Macri, announced the completion of the 100th kilometre (62nd mile) of protected bike lanes. Launched barely two years ago, the city’s Mejor en Bici (Better by Bike) scheme has also involved interest-free loans to promote cycle-buying, as well as the lanes and 1,000 free public bikes at 28 stations.