Safety First

Some month ago in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, a group of students and citizens, exercised their right to have safe bike lanes and, in front of the inertia of local authorities, decided to solve the problem themselves. Equipped with colors and stencil masks, they realized a 2.5 kilometers long bike lane on Santa Margherita Avenue, one of the most busy streets in terms of bicycle traffic, in order to reclaim a safe street transit for who cycles.

Safety First could be proclaimed the goal of the Mexican group, but it is also the title of a video performance by the Czech artists Vladimir Turner and Ondřej Mladý. To denounce the inadequate number of bike lanes, one of the artists rides a bike through Prague night’s traffic, through parks and crowds, turning his path into a DIY bike lane, which was screened on the street in front of him through a small projector installed on the handle bars.

These experiences show how people get tired to wait someone else decisions over their safety, and instead prefer to act by their own to push the city towards a more livable dimension: DIY urbanism, born outside official political structures.