Bikejuju is profiling the work of Brazilian artist Cabelo over three posts. The first post presented his illustrations. Today, we look at his series of bicycle advocacy poster designs. (And then, in the next and final post, street art!).
It’s these posters that first brought Cabelo to my attention – they were re-posted on a few English-language blogs, after bloggers found them on Cabelo’s own site. Still, they deserve to be much more widely seen. Interspersed are a few of Cabelo’s thoughts, translated by Ana.
To ride a bike in the middle of São Paulo’s traffic is to run a risk, I say this without any reluctance even though this might discourage some people. Our city has some of the most violent traffic in the world, there is no respect and drivers almost never follow the laws, because the agency responsible for traffic fines and education, the CET (Department of Transportation) prioritizes making the traffic flow, due to the constant bumper-to-bumper traffic that we live with. That is to say that drivers who commit serious infractions, like for example drunk driving, running red lights, and speeding in residential neighborhoods, are almost never penalized.
Another very important thing is that the majority of the drivers don’t know the Brazilian traffic code, which considers a bicycle as a vehicle. Article 58 says that when there is no bicycle lane, bicycles should travel in the same lane as other vehicles and should have the right of way over them.
Nevertheless, I believe that it has never been so good for bikes as today. With the internet it’s easier to get to know other realities, to join people together and claim this right. Our city had to get to this point of chaos (we beat the record of 293 kilometers of traffic jams in one day!) to have the authorities pressured to start to include, even if very timidly, bicycles in their agenda. I have no doubts that the future will be more harmonious for the cyclists that pedal here.