Smog, traffic-free Madrid no longer just a Dream
Traffic is a familiar fact of life for residents of Madrid. The Spanish capital city’s 3.25 million residents currently have 1.7 million vehicles, 80% of which are cars which produce the smog that hangs above the city and called ‘beret’ by its residents.
In a bid to finally reduce traffic, road accidents and pollution, City Hall is finally taking matters into its hands in an extreme measure exposed by newspaper El País.
According to the paper, City Hall will increase the costs of owning a car in the city, which include:
- doubling the price of ‘blue-zone’ parking meter ticket
- reducing traffic lanes by expanding pedestrian lanes
- expanding bus lanes and giving priority to buses at traffic lights
- imposing more bans on heavy vehicles
- increasing the number of patrol cars with cameras
With the plan in place, the City Hall, headed by Popular Party Mayor Ana Botella, aims to:
- reduce traffic by 8% by 2020
- reduce the number of road deaths by half
- maintain air and pollution standards set by the EU
- cut the number of journeys by private vehicles by 7%
- increase the number of journeys made by public transport vehicles by 4%
- increase the number of journeys by bikers and pedestrians to comprise 32% of the total
The document said ‘Madrid is for people, not for vehicles.’ Its goal is to make the roads of Madrid and the rest of Spain more favourable to pedestrians, bikers and the public transportation system.