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Car Free Day causes the opposite effect in Madrid

Car Free Day causes the opposite effect in Madrid

The call to dispense with the car on the Car-Free Day apparently produces an opposite effect on the public, since in cities like Madrid there has been a greater influx of traffic that has collapsed its streets due to two accidents, however in Barcelona there have been certain normality

On the occasion of this celebration within the framework of the European Mobility Week, several cities have planned actions aimed at reducing the number of cars and, however, traffic in Madrid has collapsed, which is why this commemoration has been overshadowed in the capital.

In the case of Barcelona, ​​some 90,000 fewer cars have circulated on its streets, which represents 4.3% less than the usual traffic on a weekday, despite the fact that the City Council has restricted traffic on 54 streets during different hours of the year. day.

The Ciutadans deputy in the Parliament of Catalonia, Marina Bravo, has considered that "making traffic difficult" in Barcelona is not what will help citizens switch from private vehicles to public transport, but rather to promote a "quality and reliable" service and improve offers and rates.

Actions and proposals

Several environmental organizations and institutions have proposed actions aimed at promoting a more sustainable means of transport, as well as reducing air and noise pollution.

In this sense, members of the NGO Greenpeace have today painted dozens of images in the central street of Bravo Murillo, in Madrid, to represent the uses that the roads should have, given that “70% of its public space is dedicated to the use automobile priority ”.

Greenpeace has drawn the route that, in its opinion, would facilitate coexistence and allow "to achieve a more sustainable and climate-friendly city."

The spokesman for the NGO Ecologistas en Acción, Paco Segura, has assured Efeverde that there is "a perversion of perfection in terms of the meaning of owning a car in society", a fact "closely linked to the tremendous bombardment of advertising that we suffer for the big car industry because of the pressure group they have ”.

"Advertising has allocated many preconceived ideas about the car and one of them is that it is the universal means of locomotion", when "in reality a quarter of Spanish households do not own a car", he explained.

However, the National Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers (Anfac) during the Mobility Table of the Madrid City Council last December, proposed seven measures to reduce pollution by 70%, compared to the 50% that would be obtained with the limitation of circulation by odd and even license plates.

Another of Anfac's approaches established a "categorization of vehicles" by means of a classification based on their contaminating potential, which coincides with that applied in the capital's parking meters.

The general secretary of the Madrid CCOO, Jaime Cedrún, has denounced that retentions and travel times to work have "skyrocketed", which in some cases become "abusive", even on days like today, which instead The Day Without Cars seems to be commemorating "the day of traffic jams".

From the environmental party Equo they have requested the inclusion in the General Budgets of a special item for financing the purchase of non-polluting bicycles and vehicles, and has also urged the municipalities to create infrastructures to favor this type of transport and, thus , reduce both traffic and pollution in cities.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama) has offered its employees of the central services cultural rewards, as well as incentives (tickets to theaters, bicycle devices, discounts on organic products, among others).

The initiative, which began in France at the end of the last century and was extrapolated to the whole of Europe, “has been diminishing its momentum despite the fact that since last year and the current one it has been resumed and has gained a certain momentum, although very much below what is necessary, as a consequence of the town councils of change ”, such as Madrid or Barcelona, ​​the spokesperson for Ecologists in Action has indicated.

Within the European Mobility Week, other initiatives such as the so-called “Parking Day” have also taken place with the aim of transforming parking spaces into temporary public parks in 70 cities and municipalities in Spain.

At the local level, consistories such as that of Villanueva del Pardillo in the Community of Madrid, has announced that the Environment Unit of the Local Police will use electric bicycles to monitor parks and roads.


Cover photo: Traffic jam in Madrid on Car Free Day. EFE / Luca Piergiovanni

EFE Green


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