The transformation of Av. Meridiana gets under way in JuneAv. Meridiana is to get more space for pedestrians, bicycles and public transport, the aim being to stop it acting as a barrier between neighbourhoods and instead become a civic hub for the surrounding area.
The avenue currently functions as an urban motorway with a volume of a hundred thousand vehicles using it every day. This converts it into a barrier for people living in the vicinity.
The comprehensive remodelling of the avenue to turn it into a greener, more pleasant and quieter place has been a long-standing demand by local entities, which are also working in the area via the Meridiana Participation Board.
The first section to be renewed is the stretch between Pl. Glòries and C/ Mallorca, where 52,000 square metres of public space will be generated. The section will feature a tree-lined central avenue, areas for people to stroll around and sit, segregated bike lanes, wider pavements and more urban greenery.
“The transformation of Av. Meridiana is a historical debt with a forgotten part of the city, and a demand from local residents, who want the avenue to be a more human and civic place, not an urban motorway like it is now”, noted the Deputy Mayor for Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility, Janet Sanz.
The central part of the avenue will be remodelled to foster greater use, following on from the large future Parc de la Canòpia in Pl. Glòries. The central part will be 16 metres wide and act as a tree-lined promenade with segregated bike lanes on either side, using the road surface. Traffic lanes will be cut from three to two in each direction, one being for private vehicles and the other for buses.
A two-way bike lane will be added, segregated from the 9.6 metre wide central promenade. Traffic lanes will be reduced to three in each direction, one less than at present.
The central promenade will be built from scratch in this section and include a two-way bike lane and integrated greenery. There will be a bus lane in each direction, two traffic lanes for vehicles entering the city (one less than at present), and three lanes for outgoing traffic (unchanged).
No disruptions to mobility
A municipal study endorses the changes in this first section with regard to mobility, concluding that in general it will be unaffected. Work will start in June and should be completed in March 2019. The budget for the work is 11 million euros.
More measures for an overall transformation
The revamp for the avenue between C/ Mallorca and Pg. Fabra i Puig is currently being studied and worked on using local input. The aim is for the remodelling of this section to follow the completion of the first section.
In the meantime, measures will be applied to improve safety and mobility in this section. Specifically, and with a view to the summer, traffic lanes will be narrowed in order to make more room for pedestrians in the central section and a new interurban bus interchange will be set up in La Sagrera by the stop for urban buses, the metro and the local train service.
The City Council will also be calling for other work beyond Barcelona’s municipal territory to be carried out, which should be executed jointly with other administrations: more local train services, a bus lane on the C-17 road, better management of the bus and VAO high-occupancy vehicle lane on the C-58 road, car parking in Parets del Vallès and Barberà del Vallès etc.