Already in early 2018, Madrid will join other European cities that in recent times has restricted the access of cars to the center of their localities.
The move was made by Manuela Carmena, Mayor of Madrid, with the aim of limiting the movement of cars to residents, merchants, taxis and emergency vehicles.
One of the routes that will be covered by this measure is the Gran Via, central axis of Madrid, and known for high daily car traffic. With this prohibition, the road will gain new life, being oriented to the preferential circulation of pedestrians and cyclists.
At the end of 2016, the road was cut off for car traffic during a trial period, with local authorities, including local authority mobility teams, to rate the test as “very positive”.
But to continue with this measure, the Madrid municipality will have to go ahead with some works of requalification of the area surrounding the Gran Via.
In the immediate future it will be necessary to level the ground to correct differences in heights between road and sidewalks, as well as the creation and requalification of structures unique to pedestrians.
The proposal is however being challenged by the Madrid opposition, which claims that the initiative could have high losses for traders in that area. Alternatively, the opposition leader for the Popular Party in Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, advocates replacing the city’s polluting public transport fleet with more sustainable options.