Cities look to cycling as safe post-lockdown transport

Cities across Spain see cycling as safe transport option when lockdown eases. Photo: EFE via El Confidencial
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Several Spanish cities are joining a move by authorities in major urban areas worldwide to create more cycling lanes in order to promote bicycle transportation as an alternative to motor vehicles once coronavirus lockdowns begin to be lifted.

Authorities in Barcelona, Valencia, Pamplona, Granada and other cities are concerned that residents afraid of risking contagion by using traditional bus and metro public transportation to and from work and on errands may revert to motor vehicle transportation, clogging the cities’ traffic lanes and causing noxious vehicle emissions to skyrocket.

So several cities are preparing to create kilometres of new, temporary bicycle lanes to provide a safe and secure means of transportation for those people who need fast and reliable means of urban transportation, while still maintaining social-distancing.

► News Sources: Business Insider, Público and El Confidencial …

Both Barcelona and Valencia, for example, are planning to eliminate vehicle lanes in their city centres to make way for more pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

Barcelona plans to create 21 kilometres of bike lanes to temporarily replace some bus lanes and will widen sidewalks on Via Laietana, the Gran Vía and Diagonal at a cost of 4.4 million euros.

Valencia will be eliminating car lanes and temporarily using bus lanes to enable bicycle traffic along the Pérez Galdós-Giorgeta axis and the Plaza de San Agustín, reconfiguring traffic flow to accommodate more bicycle traffic. The city hopes to have the changes in place by the 2nd of May.

In Granada, the city council is developing a plan for rolling out lanes for the exclusive use of bicyclists and roller skaters along the city’s main streets.

Pamplona city officials have said their city will also be unveiling a network of temporary bike lanes as well as reduced waiting time at traffic lights to encourage more people to cycle instead of using motor vehicles.

City authorities in Madrid, meanwhile, are being lobbied by the Regional Federation of Neighborhood Associations of Madrid (FRAVM) and the Association of Pedestrians to restructure the capital city’s streets to esure social-distancing and road safety and encourage both walking and cycling as the preferred alternatives for those wishing to avoid crowded public transport.

► Click to read more news about Spain’s Coronavirus crisis …

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