The increase in pedestrian travel is tripled in a year as the rail network grows.
At what time according to which bike lane, there is traffic jam, although the network has grown 20% in a year and a half. Or you may have problems parking , even though there are 25,000 anchors in the street. Two indicators that the bike in Barcelona goes like a shot. In 2016, cycling increased by 14%, to 167,000 per day. Three times the growth it had been experiencing in recent years.
The bicycle lives a sweet moment in the Catalan capital. Mayor Ada Colau’s government’s bid to triple the cyclable network – has added 25 kilometers in terms of terms and has tendered works to build another 62 – has much to do with the increase in infrastructure, but it is not the Single motive. The city began to make a lane in the 90s of the last century – in streets with cobblestones and traces of old tram trains! – but the great turning point was marked in 2007 by the Bicing, the public bicycle. It started with 600 and now there are 6,000.
Colau, then, has just pressed the accelerator in a city that has everything to move by bike: a pleasant climate; An orography friendly, except counted neighborhoods; Manageable distances; A citizenship with broad sectors that are aware of sustainability …
Sometimes the question is why the city has taken so long to start pedaling massively. In fact, despite growth indicators, pedal travel is barely more than 2% of the total, light-years of 40% of public transport, 26% of cars or 32% of walking. “It is the modality that is increasing the most, but the percentage is still very small, we have much room to grow,” stresses Mobility Councilor Mercedes Vidal.
In fact, Vidal recalls, what is being done “is to follow the road map that is the Urban Mobility Plan, approved during the last term,” with CiU in the executive. The plan is set to reach 2.5% of the quota in 2018. “It is essential to move from the idea of lane in certain axes to contemplate a network in its totality, so that everyone has a lane close to home and Of its hypothetical destination, “he says. And, expanding the network, demand is created and more bikes pacify the rest of the traffic, in a virtuous circle.
Among the veterans of the sector is Pere Serrasolses, of the cooperative Biciclot, which this year celebrates the 30th anniversary. Of those who protested 30 years ago “to get someday a cycling city”. Among the reasons for its success, it does not forget the network built so far – also with the Socialist governments and former Mayor Xavier Trias -, Bicing “which despite the initial suspicions of the sector, seen in perspective has been a good tool” and Crisis, “that beyond economic and saving issues, has caused many people to rethink things and start pedaling.
From the BACC, one of the reference entities on urban bike, Carles Benito attributes the leap “to the net, which generates a snowball effect”, but also “there is more culture, shops, events …”. Benito celebrates “the deployment of the network, the sea-mountain lanes” and “regulation of personal mobility vehicles, like the segways , which will have to go by bike path.”
On the new lanes there are also objections. Albert Garcia, of Amics de la Bici, and Esther Anaya, researcher in mobility ciclista of Imperial College of London. Both agree that the bidirectional lanes being made are too narrow. “No other city makes them,” says Anaya, who applauds other policies, such as “data being hung open, which will allow universities to do studies” that perhaps the Administration does not have the money to do.
Who is a cycling enthusiast in Barcelona is the editor of the journal Ciclosfera , Rafa Vidiella . “Compared to Madrid this is a wonder”, applauds and highlights that the profile of cyclists in Barcelona is very transversal: “You see suit men, modern, families, children.” “And there is maturity, it is no coincidence that Barcelona is the city of the world with more Brompton, a bike that costs 1,200 euros.” Indeed, with 20,000 of these folding bikes, the Catalan capital is the world leader in Brompton per capita.