Like Berlin, Barcelona finds itself it an interesting urbanism age. Mayor Ada Colau, elected around the time of the last Index, made bold promises regarding bicycle urbanism. Barcelonans have embraced the bicycle once again and now it is up to the City to respond with infrastructure.
Indeed, the length of the bike infrastructure has increased by 20% and, at time of writing, 62.5 km of cycle tracks - costing €20 million - are being built.
The Superblocks (Superilla in Catalan) are now up and running as pilot projects and the effect on the neighbourhoods is amazing. This translates well to bicycle traffic, what with the traffic calmed streets.
The Bicing bike share system continues to be a success and there are plans for expansion.
There has been a micro distribution center for last-mile cargo bike logistics for a few years and the City has offered support for the initiative. A sign that they realise the importance of removing trucks from the city and replacing them, where possible, with cargo bikes.
The time is ripe for Barcelona to move to the next level. Like in Oslo, the current administration might only last for one term so things need to go a bit quicker.
Barcelona has developed some infrastructure, ranging from painted lanes, protected cycle tracks and then bizarre center-running lanes that do not appear in any Best Practice guide to bicycle infrastructure.
Despite the positive plans coming out of city hall, this city still hesitates when it comes to restricting car traffic and making serious inroads for cycling as transport. Cyclists still have to take detours to get around the city. It’s time to adopt Best Practice and to expand the network in order to see an exponential rise in bicycle traffic.