MEXICO CITY – Pedaling placidly, black-suited businessmen and women in dresses and high heels wheeled shiny red bikes between growling green buses, serenaded by shrill police whistles and coughing diesel trucks, the morning sunlight filtering through yellow smog Thursday.
Happy Earth Day, Mexico City.
With its scofflaw drivers, gridlocked traffic and cobblestoned downtown, Mexico City isn’t the most bicycle-friendly place. But residents are being asked to take the risk as part of a larger campaign that leaders hope will clean up this 700-year-old metropolis.
This spring the city launched Ecobici, installing 1,100 bikes at 85 stations throughout the center of the city. In its first three months, 4,000 people have paid $24 for user cards they swipe at a rack to release a bicycle for a half-hour.
With 50,000 trips taken to date through Mexico City’s harrowing streets, city officials are delighted with the results: zero accidents, zero thefts.
Grenade blast kills 1, injures 75
BANGKOK, Thailand – The political standoff in Thailand’s capital turned deadly for the second time in two weeks Thursday when five grenade blasts in the business district killed at least one person and wounded 75.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban told a nationwide television audience that the M-79 grenades, one of which detonated near a hotel, another near a bank, originated in a Bangkok park occupied by protesters. But in the confusion, it was not immediately clear who was responsible.
Anti-government demonstrators, known as “red shirts” for the color of their apparel, have occupied parts of downtown Bangkok for the last six weeks demanding that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva step down, dissolve parliament and leave the country.