Cycling in Barcelona is priority

Barcelona City Council is pushing ahead with its ambitious 2013/ 2018 Urban Mobility Plan. It is a large 5 year framework which focuses on smart, healthy and fair transportation in Barcelona. It is also, according to the City Council, very important for the quality of life of Barcelona’s residents. So what does the Urban Mobility Plan (UMP) mean exactly? That we’re forgetting driving cars and instead, focusing on cycling in Barcelona.

Smart alright. And safe

The UMP, launched in 2013, was, among other things, the City Council’s response to complaints about Barcelona’s bicycle path network. It used to be, well, a little like Swiss cheese – lovely, but with lots of holes. So, one by one, and with an investment of over 30 million euros, gaps were bridged and new paths were added. The plan here is that by UMP’s completion in 2018, Barcelona will have tripled the added length of its bike paths – from 116km (72m) to 308km(91m)! It doesn’t all end there, because cycling in Barcelona you now also has special traffic lights and bike pictograms printed on pedestrian crossings. Smart alright. And safe.

Cycling is healthy 

Cycling as a movement towards a healthier lifestyle is gaining popularity everywhere in the world, and they know it in Barcelona. The City Council’s website promotes regular bike- riding as one of the healthiest exercises there is. A recent campaign entitled „Bike- the best idea in the world!” featured, among many others, a large bright poster of a giggling man with grey hair, cycling amongst palm trees. The caption read „Lowering my cholesterol in a sitting position.”

It’s fair to everyone

Cycling in Barcelona is caring. No, really. Bicycles moving around the streets of the city take up to five times less space than cars would, the City Council proudly announce on their website. Bikes create no air pollution, no noise pollution and, when you think about it, they provide opportunities for much kinder interactions with pedestrians than cars do. Cycle as means of transportation, cycle as a tourist. Cycle and really become part of Barcelona.

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