A Tale of Crappy Sidewalks and Streets

My sister pretending to fall in to a man hole. Yes, it's fake, but in theory, it would be easy enough to get your shoe stuck or twist your ankle if you aren't looking down!

My sister pretending to fall in to a man hole. Yes, it’s fake, but in theory, it would be easy enough to get your shoe stuck or twist your ankle !

We had another beautiful day here in Bogotá (lots of sun resulting in lobster face for my sister and I, but still, it’s a pleasant surprise to experience Bogotá in the sun), but today I’d like to start with the bad, this being the atrocious state of Bogotá sidewalks and side streets. The sidewalks are bad for the following reasons…

1.) Lack of uniformity. I think the government probably isn’t in charge of sidewalks in this city because they vary from block to block. My poor grandma is in perpetual danger of sidewalk induced injury. In fact, I think she has actually had some pretty serious sidewalk falls. No, Bogotá sidewalks are not a friendly place for the elderly or clumsy. Or for the suburban foreigner used to uniform, even sidewalks. Yes, it’s true…if you don’t have a great sense of balance, Bogotá sidewalks can lead to some pretty embarrassing face plant moments. Kind of like that poor Austrian athlete who fell during the Olympic opening ceremony.

2.) They are crumbling. Literally. There you are, happily walking along a perfectly normal looking sidewalk, when all of a sudden, it becomes a sad-looking pile of gravel and dirt. And if they aren’t actually crumbling, you can expect lots of cracks, holes and elevated, loose bricks. It’s not a pretty picture out there.

3.) Sudden changes in elevation. This kind of goes along with the whole lack of uniformity complaint in point one. First, you are at street level. Then, they mix it up for you…it’s like the sidewalk mafia never wants you to look up. Without warning, the sidewalk is suddenly elevated  to one foot. A block later, back to ground level you go. Then you’re at six inches. Then you’re at 18 inches. Then the sidewalk suddenly disappears and you find yourself walking on above mentioned pile of gravel. Then there is a 45 degree incline at a cross walk, which I think is supposed to be wheelchair friendly, but in reality, it’s  probably more like a mini roller coaster for those getting around in a wheelchair.

One good thing though…all those ups and downs are a good workout. Please enjoy some pictures of Bogotá’s excellent sidewalks below…

A little street by my grandma's apartment. It's like a meteor hit or something.

A little street by my grandma’s apartment. It’s like a meteor hit or something.

How does this even happen? I really think the brick is made of children's clay.

How does this even happen? I really think the brick is made of children’s clay.

Another example of bad sidewalks.

Another example of bad sidewalks.



Categories: Bogota, Colombia

Tags: , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Wow! The streets look pretty good, though.

  2. Please, don’t look for a silver lining! They’re atrocious, and that’s that. No other way to spin it.

  3. They were like that 48 years ago when I lived there. Some things spring eternal! They probably haven’t repaired them since 1966!

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