Dia del Peaton – Pedestrian Day , La Paz this Sunday September 3rd 2017 is “dia del peaton” in La Paz which translates to Pedestrian Day. Once a year the chaotic streets of La Paz are forceably made peaceful by banning all motorized vehicles from its streets for a about an 18 hour period with walking, running and cycling the only permitted form of transport (except for a handful of taxis licensed to take people to the airport or get essential services workers to/from work). This is strictly enforced by the transport police (the use their own vehicles to get around though of course) and very few people attempt to break the ban.
People take advantage of trafficless streets by engaging in sporting activities all over the city and impromptu football matches , aerobics classes and group runs can be spotted throughout the capital. Cyclists can take in the fresh air without worry of being run off the road by an idiot bus driver (this is most bus drivers in La Paz) and joggers can run where ever they please without inhaling the the black clouds of smoke from under maintained trucks.
One of the nicest things about the day is that is brings lots of families together and gets lots of people out in the streets to simply take in some fresh air. The crazy driving in La Paz means it isn’t the best suited for an afternoon stroll with the family and dog but on dia del peaton that all changes and it becomes a real family day.
Whilst it can be a bit of a pain for travelers (many tours and transport options are unavailable this day) for the most part this once a year event is well received by both the residents of La Paz and its visitors.