Madrid cuts speed limit and announces new rules on roads

By Raffaele Vergnani / Updated: 31 Oct 2018

Last week the new Sustainable Mobility Ordinance came into force in the City of Madrid, promoted by the City Council. The measure aims to regulate new forms of urban and shared mobility for the first time, simultaneously promoting public transport use and the safety of pedestrians and people with reduced mobility.

Among the most relevant measures implemented single lane streets are now limited to 30 kilometres per hour, bicycles can now turn right with the red light when expressly indicated, and electric scooters can no longer travel on pavements and must do so on designated bike lanes or streets limited to 30 kilometres per hour.

The new limit of 30 kilometres per hour is going to affect 80 % of the total number of streets in the whole city and cover 85 % of the total length of them. The roads limited to 50 kilometres per hour will be limited to routes with two or more lanes per direction - with exceptions. The measure is applied to encourage walking mobility, reduce road accidents and facilitate the coexistence of cars with bicycles.

The new ordinance prohibits electric scooters and other similar vehicles, traffic on pavements and other spaces reserved exclusively for pedestrians. Thus, they can circulate on streets, cycle lanes, cycle tracks, on the road of streets integrated within 30 zones respecting the priority of pedestrians, and on multi-lane streets where the maximum speed of circulation is 30 kilometres per hour.

Non-motorised skates and skateboards may travel on pavements and other pedestrian areas at walking speeds (not exceeding 5 kilometres per hour), and on bicycle paths and cycle routes at a speed not exceeding 10 kilometres per hour. The ordinance establishes that people with reduced mobility have priority over other users so that those who ride on motorised wheelchairs must adapt to walking speed (maximum 5 kilometres per hour).

Finally, the newest element in the new regulations is Madrid Central, a restricted traffic area that will apply to most of the city’s Centro district starting at the end of November 2018. Residents may access the area with their vehicles but only park in their own neighbourhood.

Image source: ©Studioimagen73/ - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock

Source: Story first published in October by Siglo XXI

Traffic and demand management