We are in 2009 and it seems that São Paulo's local authorities are still in the 1960's, 1970's...
The functionalist view of that time, which celebrated vehicular individual circulation as one of the priorities of urban planning, has unfortunately turned into more than a "bad habit" of São Paulo's State Government: it is a mania, a compulsion, a blindly followed obsession. With this "strategy" the State Governor José Serra expects to gather votes for the next presidential elections...
In May this year the newspapers announced: new highway-lanes will be built along São Paulo‘s Tietê River. Last month two lanes were opened to the traffic. The other lanes shall be opened until March next year.
It is no big news, that this kind of mono-functional infrastructure stresses the already grave social and spatial disconnectivity of São Paulo city. The river remains a marginalized space, isolated by huge infrastructure lines, daily erased from the citizens conviviality and only remembered, during flood events or hot days, when the water has an unpleasant smell. The cars that are already transiting in the freshly inaugurated road lanes are those of a smaller part of the population. The most important question remains unanswered: what about public transport?
The online petition written by Professors of the Faculty of Arcuitecture and Urbanism (University of São Paulo) against the absurd construction of these lanes, is worth to be read. The letter is in Raquel Rolnik's website (in Portuguese).
According to the petition, the cost of all major road works undertaken in recent 15 years in the city, which primordially benefits high-income groups, would have been enough to finance the construction of the entire subway line "Linha Amarela".
That is more than embarassing... I still don't get it: how long will the city's governors insist to help transforming São Paulo in hell?