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28 December 2011

How to tackle crime? A giant outdoor escalator, of course

Huge escalator in Colombian city of Medellin will shorten commute through gang-plagued area.

By Samira Shackle

For years, residents of a Colombian town situated on a steep hillside have faced a long journey up hundreds of steps — the equivalent of a 28 story building — to reach the next town. The area, Comuna 13, is one of the most lawless in Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city, and the 35-minute climb took residents through an area stalked by gangsters.

Now, however, officials may have found a solution: a giant, outdoor public escalator. Built into the bill, the enormous escalator shortens the journey to just six minutes. Measuring 1,250ft (384m), it cost $6.7m. The new stairway will be patrolled by armed guards, and officials hope that it will open the area to trade and visitors.

It is the first project of its type, but officials from Rio de Janeiro are reportedly planning a visit to see if an escalator could work for the city’s favelas.

escalator

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