We are adapting public space and mobility to this new scenario in order to bring back daily life to the city. And we are doing so with an action plan that will enable us to move around more easily and more safely, with sustainable, healthy means of transport that benefit everyone.

With the state of alert likely to come to an end soon, more city residents will go out onto the streets of Barcelona and day-to-day mobility flows will gradually be restored in the city.

The Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility Area has been working on an action plan to make sure this mobility is safe, sustainable, healthy and efficient. The aim is to promote walking, cycling and public transport. To achieve this, a series of initiatives is required for travel in the city to be as safe as possible, now and in the coming weeks, in order to minimise new cases of Covid-19 and to protect people’s health through non-polluting means of transport.

Within this context, travel on foot and by bicycle will continue to be the main recommended ways of getting round. They are individual and sustainable and allow for the physical distancing from other people required as a preventive measure to continue tackling the spread of Covid-19.

Travel by public transport is also recommended. The metro, buses, trams and trains have continued to operate throughout the emergency situation in the city. Great efforts have been made to adapt them to mobility demand, comply with the maximum one-third occupancy level and ensure the necessary hygiene measures to protect users.

View less

What are we doing?

Walking is the most organic, universal method of transport built into all human beings. Nearly half of all city residents get around on foot. Indeed, regardless of how we usually travel, all of us walk at some point in the day. Furthermore, it fulfils new needs, allowing us to maintain safe distances and adopt the hygiene measures needed to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Traffic must be calmed and the safe surface area for pedestrians must be expanded in order to improve safety, air quality, health and community life.

INITIAL MEASURES

  • Close some lanes to traffic.
    Some lanes are being closed to traffic to provide more space for pedestrians and allow for a safe physical distance between people. A total of 12 kilometres of lanes are being closed to motor vehicles, which means 30,000 m2 are being recovered. They are the mountain side of Avinguda Diagonal, between Passeig de Gràcia and Carrer de la Marina, the sea side of Avinguda Diagonal, between Plaça de Francesc Macià and Passeig de Gràcia, and the sea side of Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, between Plaça d’Espanya and Plaça de Tetuan. All other side lanes will be open to traffic to facilitate bus circulation.
     
  • Reinforce the ‘30 City’.
    A tactical widening of pavements is being carried out so that pedestrians can walk more safely. To achieve this, traffic lanes are being reduced to prioritise walking and calm traffic. This initiative is being implemented on Carrer del Consell de Cent, Carrer de Girona and Carrer de Rocafort, which will now only have one lane for traffic, and on Via Laietana, the pavements of which will be widened.

SHORT-TERM MEASURES

  • Speed up the campaign to get motorcyclists to comply with pavement discipline.
    With a view to freeing up even more pavement space, promoting walking and maintaining preventive health measures, such as safe distances, we will simultaneously carry out various stages of the campaign to free pavements of illegally parked motorcycles and promote parking in the on-street spaces provided and underground car parks.

The use of public transport is essential in a dense city like Barcelona. During this period, public transport has adapted to demand and also complied with disinfection protocols and preventive health measures in order to ensure safe travel as much as possible.

Now, public transport must continue to be the leading means of transport in Barcelona and that requires a series of initiatives to improve its efficiency and adapt it to the new situation, using all the tools available.
 

INITIAL MEASURES

  • Lift lockdown measures progressively.
    Barcelona City Council is asking the central government to lift lockdown measures progressively as long as there are safe distance restrictions on public transport.
     
  • Implement the safety, disinfection and hygiene protocols on public transport.
    The aim of this measure is to ensure safety on public transport and for current distancing conditions to be readjusted according to the stage: masks, gloves, gels, safe bus shelters, etc.
     
  • Encourage teleworking, flexitime and other similar measures.
    The general process of lifting the lockdown must include various measures that limit mass mobility at peak times, which includes encouraging teleworking, flexitime and other similar measures.
     
  • Improve the bus network.
    A total of 17 interventions will be carried out to create or separate bus lanes with a view to improving service and efficiency.
     
    • Separation of bus lanes
      Avinguda de Sarrià–Prat de la Riba.
      Pla de Palau–Avinguda del Marques de l’Argentera.
      Passeig de Joan de Borbó Comte de Barcelona–Avinguda del Doctor Aiguader.
      Passeig de Gràcia, between Carrer del Rosselló and Avinguda Diagonal.
      Carrer de Balmes, between Carrer de la Granada del Penedès and Avinguda Diagonal
      Carrer de Balmes, between Carrer de València and Carrer d’Aragó.
      Vall d’Hebron, between Carrer de Jericó and Plaça d’Alfonso Comín.
      Via Favència, between Carrer de Carles Soldevila and Plaça Karl Marx
      Carrer de Roger de Llúria, between Carrer del Consell de Cent and Carrer d’Aragó.
      Carrer de Cartagena, between Carrer de Llorens i Barba and Carrer del Mas Casanovas.
      Carrer de València, between Carrer de Roger de Llúria and Carrer del Bruc
       
    • New bus lane sections
      Via Laietana
      Creu Coberta–Carretera de Sants.
      Via Augusta, upwards direction, between Carrer de l’Hort de la Vila and Passeig de la Bonanova.
      Carrer d’Espronceda, sea direction, between Passeig del Taulat and Passeig de Garcia Fària.
      Passeig de Garcia Fària, Llobregat direction, between Carrer d’Espronceda and Carrer de la Jonquera.
       
    • Changes and adjustments to bus lanes
      Via Favència, between Carrer de l’Artesania and Plaça de Karl Marx.

 

​SHORT-TERM MEASURES

  • Include public transport in the Covid-19 rescue fund.
    The aim is to respond to the deficit generated by the current exceptional situation.
     
  • Prioritise public transport and taxi services.
    To regain users’ trust and reaffirm the public authorities’ commitment to public transport.
     
  • Create a coach hub at the Estació del Nord bus station.
    To concentrate this type of mobility and facilitate the application of health measures.

One of the key means for short- or medium-distance journeys in Barcelona is the bicycle. Bicycles are an alternative way of getting around during the day and the most efficient means of transport in terms of energy. Furthermore, within the Covid-19 context, bicycles are essential, as they are individual and do not take up much space, they minimise contact between people and they enable safe distances to be maintained.

There are currently over 200 kilometres of cycle lanes in the city, as well as nearly 800 kilometres of roads with traffic-calming measures, and a series of measures are planned to encourage cycling even more.
 

INITIAL MEASURES

  • Start up and expand the Bicing service.
    The Bicing service is being reactivated, with 57 more stations now operational and preventive health measures for both users and maintenance personnel in place.
     
  • Create 21 new kilometres of cycle lanes.
    New cycle lanes are being created, which means reducing traffic lanes in the city and on roads connecting it to the rest of the metropolitan area. 
    • Where will they be?
      On Carrer de la Creu Coberta–Carretera de Sants (from Plaça d’Espanya to Riera Blanca); Carrer de València (between Carrer de Tarragona and Avinguda Meridiana); Carrer de la Indústria (between Avinguda de Gaudí and Carrer de Bailèn); Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes (between Carrer d’Aribau and Passeig de Gràcia); Via Augusta (from Avinguda Diagonal to Plaça de Molina); Carrer de Los Castillejos (from Avinguda Diagonal to Travessera de Gràcia); Carrer de Roger de Llúria (from Plaça d’Urquinaona to Avinguda Diagonal); Carrer de Pau Claris (from Plaça d’Urquinaona to Avinguda Diagonal); Avinguda Meridiana (from Passeig de Fabra i Puig to Avinguda de Rio de Janeiro); and Passeig de Santa Coloma.
       

​SHORT-TERM MEASURES

  • Promote respect for cyclists in streets declared 30 km/h zones.
    Signs will indicate cyclists have priority in these streets and an awareness-raising campaign will promote respect for cyclists there among car drivers and motorcyclists.
     
  • Finish and distribute definitive licences for bike-sharing and scooter-sharing operators.
    The aim is to encourage shared bicycles and motor scooters, which come under the umbrella of sustainable mobility, for individual use.

The motor vehicle should not be the predominant vehicle in city mobility, as it continues to contribute towards pollution (and its effects on health, mortality rates and in aggravating various diseases) as well as accident rates.

In addition, excessive use of motor vehicles in Barcelona also harms quality of life in the city, as it reduces the amount of safe, healthy public space available for use by city residents who walk or use other sustainable ways of getting round.
 

INITIAL MEASURES

  • Finish renovating parking meters.
    With better technology that accepts contactless payment and the application of environmental rates that benefit non-polluting vehicles. 

 

​SHORT-TERM MEASURES

  • Promote car parks with mobility services and reinforced health measures. Mobility services in car parks for bicycles, motorcycles and urban goods distribution. Charging points for electric vehicles and space for car sharing operators.
    Reinforced health measures: parking space cleaning, limit on lift occupancy and disinfectant gel available for the public.
     
  • Apply the 2020 on-street parking rates and step up the disinfection of parking meters.
     
  • Promote the use of mobile apps (SMOU, etc.).
     
  • Put four AREA inspection vehicles into operation.
    To minimise in-person inspection on the street and facilitate the regulation of the AREA.
     
  • Expand regulated on-street parking areas.
     
  • Expand urban goods distribution around the metropolitan area.
    To facilitate and improve the distribution of goods around various municipalities in the metropolitan area.

 

  • Promote company commuting plans.
    The aim is to encourage more sustainable commuting

A safe route network for the gradual relaxation of the lockdown measures in the city

Barcelona is preparing its neighbourhoods to help people take walks close to home. It is getting them ready to enable the public to go out for walks and exercise safely near their homes when they are allowed to do so. For this reason, it is closing some streets to traffic and opening parks and green areas. These actions will increase the space reserved for pedestrians so that the use of public spaces can be gradually be resumed safely, with the minimum distances between people and in accordance with health recommendations and the criteria set by the administrative authorities.

The progressive stages for lockdown exit require the reinforcement of every neighbourhood’s safe route network where people can walk and exercise individually, always respecting the minimum distance of two metres from other people as recommended by the health authorities.

The routes, which must have a clearance of at least four metres, include streets with pavements of more than four metres in width, streets of more than four metres in width with priority for pedestrians, squares and promenades.

In order to expand the safe route network, Barcelona City Council is closing 60 streets to through traffic (updated 12th June), which will result in an additional 21,3 kilometres and 85,300 square metres in total for pedestrians. The closures will take place every day from 9 am to 9 pm and will be marked with signposted metal fences located at the start and end of each street and at each crossing. Emergency vehicles, loading and unloading services and residents will be allowed access.

When choosing the streets, priority has been given to those neighbourhoods which have the fewest spaces for walking safely in the current circumstances: those without direct access to large open spaces – such as Collserola, Montjuïc, the seafront or El Besòs River Park– and those with a very dense population and a lack of open spaces.

The streets that have been chosen are not part of the main traffic network, and no buses use them. Furthermore, we have chosen roads that are connected to the existing network of safe streets and that complement routes to facilities such as markets, primary healthcare centres and parks, among others, that will start opening this Friday. Whether the streets intersect perpendicularly in a specific or central part of the neighbourhood has also been taken into account.

These streets join the 785.8 linear kilometres already forming part of Barcelona's safe route network. They account for 52% of all roads in the city.

See the map.

Summary of streets closed to traffic

These actions are in addition to the 12 kilometres of streets and 30,000 square metres already announced in the government measure which will also be increased for pedestrian use as a result of the traffic calming measures, closures to traffic on side roads and tactical widening of pavements.

Specifically, the streets of Consell de Cent, Rocafort and Girona will have traffic calming measures; the side lanes on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes - the south side lane between Plaça d'Espanya and Plaça de Tetuan - and Avinguda Diagonal - south side lane between Francesc Macià and Passeig de Gràcia, and north side lane between Passeig de Gràcia and Marina - will be closed to traffic, and the pavements on Via Laietana will be widened to 4.15 metres. These actions will take place in the next few days.

As a result of adding these 30,000 square metres to the 85,300 square metres of streets closed to traffic in the safe route network (and 43,456 square metres from motorbike campaign), the city will have more 157,000 square metres of space for pedestrians to walk and exercise individually in full safety.