Cycling lanes in Barcelona to triple by 2018

The cycling lane network in Barcelona will increase from 116 to 308 km in three years with an investment of 32 million euros. The urban mobility plan also aims to create new bike parking lots.

Barcelona decided to invest heavily in bike facilities: 32 million euros to triple the length of the city’s cycling lanes (from 116 to 300 km) in three years. This is a significant investment for a city that besides counting 1,600,000 inhabitants has a surface of a little less than 100 km2. The goal is to expand and improve the existing network of cycling lanes in order to build a continuous, safe and comfortable network.


bike sharing barcelona
Bicing is Barcelona’s bike sharing system created in 2007. © Matteo Colombo/JAI/Corbis


The future of bicycles in Barcelona

Barcelona’s urban mobility plan for 2013-2018 aims to increase by 67% the use of bicycles, from 1.5 of daily journeys to 2.5%, reducing the use of cars by 21%. Another way to promote alternative means of transport at the expense of cars is a superblock: a block surrounded by heavy traffic roads where bicycles, residents’ cars and emergency vehicles only can travel. This method also promotes walking, thus reducing noise pollution within the blocks, which may also become semi-pedestrian areas.


Currently, 72% of Barcelona’s inhabitants have a bike lane available within 300 metres, but this figure will increasingly improve thanks to the new investments, until it becomes 95%.


Barcelona’s cycling lanes will join the “30 zones”, where the speed limit is 30 km/h. The lanes will also be built along the busiest streets in order for those who ride to work to have more comforts.


Not just cycling routes in Barcelona

The urban mobility plan also aims to increase the number of bike parking lots that safeguard bikes from vandalism, thefts, atmospheric agents, are useful for those who use them and aren’t too expensive.


With the results obtained so far Barcelona managed to rank eleventh in the 2015 Copenhagenize Index, just after Seville: with the new investments the city won’t have problems in making it to the top ten.


Another important contribution to promote the use of bicycles is given by Bicing, the bike sharing system of the Catalan city. Created in 2007 it now counts 6,000 bicycles, 420 bike parking stations and almost 100,000 subscribers, and in 2017 people will be able to sign another type of contract to expand the service.

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