Barcelona develops plan to drastically cut car traffic (Spain)

By Lewis Macdonald / Updated: 01 Aug 2014
A strategy using a variety of approaches to cut car traffic by more than 20 per cent will be deployed to improve air quality in the city, particularly regarding nitrogen dioxide and particulates.
Barcelona's busy harbour and crowded streets mean that air pollution in the city is a constant challenge. The city's Mobility Plan includes reforms to parking charges, the bus network, and the concept of 'superblocks', where access to certain areas is restricted to private vehicles.

Previous versions of the superblock concept have banned access to all vehicles within a defined zone, with the exception of emergency services, delivery vehicles and those of residents. Barcelona's version of superblocks may only permit access to private vehicles on certain weekends. Five pilot areas have been created across the city to demonstrate how the concept might work. It is also hoped that the move will cut traffic accidents by 20 per cent.

The plan has been under discussion for more than 18 months, involving dozens of organisations and interested stakeholders. Barcelona's mayor, Xavier Trias, said The challenge is to ensure that the economic recovery is accompanied by more sustainable and safe mobility.

For more information, click here (in Spanish).

Photo: Circula Seguro, Flickr
Traffic and demand management