November 2nd, 2016
Almost one year ago, we published ‘If we were already enjoying Barcelona, we will do it even more in 2018 with the 308km of finished bike lanes’ and, after these 345 days, the issue of the bike lane in Barcelona is still in the spotlight.
These days, the City Hall is working on the bike lanes of the following streets: Marina, Travessera de Gràcia, Cartagena, Eduard Maristany, Taquígraf Serra and Gelabert and on the connection of Barcelona with Esplugues del Llobregat.
On the other hand, with regard to the streets of Joan Güell, Can Bruixa, Marquès de Sentmenat, La Jota, Múrcia and Numància, the bike lane is working at full capacity.
The Numància street bike lane connects, in both directions, the Plaça de Països Catalans with the Avinguda Diagonal, one axis more than necessary. But since its first use, some weeks ago, there has been a polemic between shop-keepers, drivers of motor vehicles and cyclists. The shop-keepers criticize the lack of space for loading and unloading products; the drivers, basically of cars, complain about lacking the parking lots; and finally, the cyclists are sick of vans and taxis which park on the bike lane itself.
Another point that has also been conflictive these last weeks, is the delay referring to putting the prohibition of the bike circulation on the sidewalks into practice. This month of November this prohibition, which doesn’t allow bicycles to circulate on the sidewalks with a width of less than 4,75 meters, and with a minimum of 3 meters of free terraces for bars -although this does not affect children younger than 12 and people who ride the bike between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.- had to become effective. For the moment, this regulation will not become effective until next year, because the City Hall considers that we are still lacking infrastructures which make the bike lanes safer for the bike circulation.
All these changes have again opened up the discussion between cyclists and drivers. The first ones ask for more safety, the other ones are reticent to losing space. But, in our opinion, if we want a city with less pollution and at the service of people and not of cars, it is essential to improve the condition of those who work for this better future.