Thursday, 12 July 2012

Why Did La Turista Cross the Road?

Q: Why did la turista cross the road?
A: To watch her life flash before her eyes.

The streets here in Buenos Aires are like nothing I've ever seen before.  The main street, Avenue 9th of July (Av. 9 De Julio) is the widest street in the world, according to some sources.  It has seven lanes of traffic in each direction, flanked by two lanes on either side, for a total of 18 lanes of traffic!  You have to cross it in stages.

The photo above is from Wikipedia, and shows an aerial view of Avenue 9th of July.  The photo below shows just one section as I was crossing to see the obelisk.  I couldn't get a good picture because there is no place that is safe to stand and take a photo!

Pedestrians have basically no rights at all, and you cross only at the crosswalks and only when the light indicates that you can cross.  Even so, you make sure you move quickly and keep an eye out for traffic. Once the light turns green, the traffic - all umpteen lanes of it - will start moving regardless if you are still crossing the street or not. 

The street just outside our flat is Avenue del Libertador, and it is five lanes of traffic in each direction.  Since the train station, Retiro, is only a few blocks away, much of the traffic in front of our place consists of buses and taxis.  Fortunately, the sidestreets are easy to navigate, well lit, and have much less traffic, most of it one way.  There is also a huge pedestrian mall that begins just around the corner on Florida Street and runs for about a kilometer. 

Above is the traffic at Avenue del Libertador, all ten lanes of it.  Ready, set, CROSS!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are settling in and having a great time...buenas vacacionnes!!!!


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