“Mega blocks”: regain lost space

The Madrid City Councilis analyzing a proposal that would free up 70% of the space for pedestrians. In cities like Barcelona and Vitoria, the “Mega blocks to return lost spaces to pedestrians (and VMPs)” are already in practice in some urban districts.

It is clear that this health crisis has made us realize that a shift in the generation of public urban space is needed and we cannot continue giving the car the leading role, so bicycles and pedestrians must regain their lost space.

The proposal is the development of“Mega blocks”in the city center, with limited traffic access. The pilot districts are Salamancaand Retiro.

With the following data we can get an idea of the lost pedestrian space:

  • 70% – 80%of the street space is for vehicles. They occupy a 95% time range.
  • The blocks of the buildings in the center of the cities are surrounded by traffic, so that the bicycle and the pedestrian only have a minimum of space
  • It is intended to redirect traffic to the perimeter of cities to obtain major sustainable cities.
  • The interior access for residents and merchants, and speed reduced to 10 km/h

The goal of this plan is to continue and extend the “Madrid Central” line within a radius of 50.7 km. As Esther Anaya, an expert in mobility fromImperial College London, notes, “The change is now as citizens are open minded to change due to the health emergency”.

Hoping that is a great project for Madridand for Spanish, European and world cities willing to follow these steps, being committed to cyclists and pedestrians, thus developing mega blocks to return the lost pedestrian space.

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