First step to regulate the installation of terraces on road surfacesThe process to amend the by-law on terraces, approved by the Government Commission, will allow road surfaces to be conditioned as spaces where bars and restaurants can place tables and chairs. The measure was applied exceptionally due to the pandemic.
The idea is for terraces set up on road surfaces to become definitive, providing continuity for the economic activity they generate and leaving behind provisional elements such as blocks of cement and yellow posts. To this end, four companies from this sector have designed completely accessible open-source prototype platforms, to extend pavements and create safe terrace space where furniture can be placed.
Recent weeks have seen these prototypes tested successfully in establishments in the districts of L’Eixample, Ciutat Vella and Nou Barris. Seven model have now been authorised, adapting to chamfered street corners and lines of parking spaces and in keeping with the new text for the by-law.
The changes to the text include the technical requisites to be met as from June 2022 by terraces located on road surfaces. This mainly means the mandatory use of platforms where terraces are totally or partially on road surfaces. Terraces will also have to be located in spaces which do not affect bike lanes, public transport, the circulation of service vehicles and access to facilities and parking.
Support for bars and restaurants
In all, 3,668 permits for new terraces and special extensions have been issued since May 2020. The goal is to ensure the survival of establishments hit hard by the Covid-19 health crisis, and to create more lively and accessible public space which complies with health measures.
Of these permits, 1,588 have been issued for areas such as parking spaces, traffic lanes and chamfered street corners. The measure has helped save at least 1,875 jobs, according to a study by the University of Barcelona.
The amendment to the by-law is expected to be approved by the Full Council before the year is out, after going before the Commission for Ecology, Urban Planning, Infrastructures and Mobility and a scrutiny period for citizens and organisations.
A line of subsidies will be launched over the course of the summer to incentivise and facilitate the change, aimed at owners of establishments with extended terraces on road surfaces.