City of Madrid to roll out more bike lanes in 2016 using federal money tagged for sustainable projects

A cyclist on a Madrid BiciMad public bike lane. Photo: Julián Rojas / El País
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• Ahora Madrid coalition teams with PSOE to approve 40-million-euro project

• Plans to extend BiciMad rental program, build new bike paths in public parks

The Madrid city council says it is planning to build a new network of bicycle lanes during 2016, extenting the current BiciMad public bike-rental service and constructing off-road bike lanes to complement the existing network of bike lanes on public streets.

Earlier this year, the Ahora Madrid coalition othat brought mayor Manuela Carmena to power in May had pledged only 2 million euros to the upkeep of the existing cycling routes. Now, however, the Ahora Madrid coalition — which consists of a number of activist groups and political parties, including anti-austerity party Podemos — has reached an agreement wih the Socialist party (PSOE) to spend more than 40 million euros on 22 new bike lanes, both on public roads and as bike paths through parks.

The funding it set to come from a 366 million euro allowance from the federal goernment for sustainable investments, with a federally imposed deadline of end-2016 for completion of the work.

Mayor Carmena has also pledged to extend the BiciMad public bike rental program, initiated by her predecessor of the former conservative governing Partido Popular (PP), to the south of the capital city. BiciMad rental bikes can be driven on specially marked, slow-speed lanes on city streets that are shared with cars, but are painted with large cyclist symbols to warn vehicle drivers of the presence of cyclists.

Read the Full Story in English at El País >>

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