Spatial inequalities and media representation of cycling safety in Bogotá, Colombia

Camilo Alfonso Torres Barragan* (Corresponding Author), Caitlin Cottrill* (Corresponding Author), Mark Beecroft* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


While there has been sustained growth in cycling as an urban mean of transport over the last two decades, it has often been accompanied by an increase in traffic crashes and deaths involving cyclists (Broe et al., 2017; Loreta et al., 2016). Many of the recommendations proposed to reduce such negative consequences rely primarily on individual behavioural changes or segregating infrastructure; however, the positive impacts of such actions are not yet proven (Dozza, 2017; Shinar et al., 2018). While these actions are certainly necessary, it has been proposed that more collective and long-standing changes in policy, education and law can be even more beneficial for cycling safety (Jacobsen, 2003; Marqués and HernándezHerrador, 2017). Research considering social, spatial and economic disparities and their relation to urban cycling is very scarce within cycling studies and has the potential to benefit cycling safety by expanding its underlying understanding (Brown, 2016). Additionally, qualitative approaches such as the analysis of media representations of cycling safety events have only recently started attracting attention from researchers (Macmillan et al., 2016). Furthermore, there is a clear disproportion between research about cycling safety undertaken in Europe, Oceania and North America when compared to the rest of the world – in particular, Latin America. While debates around transport and inequalities are prevalent in Latin American cities, limited attention has been paid to cycling. In this study, through the analysis of secondary data and media coverage of traffic crashes involving cyclists in Bogotá, Colombia, it is proposed that cycling safety research can benefit from including analysis of social, economic and spatial inequalities as well as media representation. Preliminary results show that spatial inequality in cycling safety is expressed in at least three ways: disparities in cycling infrastructure allocation by city planners; concentration of traffic crashes resulting in cyclists’ deaths in low income areas; and disproportion in media coverage of cyclists’ deaths in traffic according to their locations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100208
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Early online date2 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2020


  • cycling safety
  • spatial inequality
  • media representation
  • Bogotá
  • Media representation
  • Spatial inequality
  • Cycling safety


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