Barcelona’s Car-Taming ‘Superblocks’ Meet Resistance

News

Barcelona’s Car-Taming ‘Superblocks’ Meet Resistance

20/01/2017
Citylab

The plan to ban through traffic from much of the city could still be a game-changing model.

 

Barcelona's plan to slash car traffic may be some of the most innovative in the world, but right now their introduction isn't going all that smoothly. Since last year, the city has been introducing so-called superblocks. These are square sections of the city's grid made up of nine actual blocks, with a combined area of just under 40 acres, where through traffic is permitted only on perimeter roads. The idea of these superblocks is to cut pollution and car collisions while making more space for pedestrians and cyclists. As yet, it seems that not everyone is convinced.

 

Last Sunday, some residents in Barcelona's Poblenou neighborhood took to the streets to protest against their own local supeblock, introduced in September, which they say is making their daily lives far more complicated by forcing local drivers to take long, circuitous routes around the neighborhood. A small local protest like this might not amount to a whole hill of beans, but Barcelona's current superblocks (of which there are four) are just the beginning of a plan to extend the traffic model across the entire city by the end of 2018, by which time 500 superblocks should cover the city. Already, five more superblocks are slated for introduction this year alone, and more public resistance could well be on the way.

 

More information: Citylab.com