BARCELONA 22 From the city of cars to the city of people
Launch of the "BARCELONA'22" campaign to present a project that transforms the unsustainable and unfair mobility of the Barcelona metropolis
The Platform for Air Quality, the Association for the Promotion of Public Transport, Ecologists in Action of Catalonia, Eixample Respira, the Bicycle Club of Catalonia, the Network for Climate Justice, Catalonia Walks and the Association for the Prevention of Accidents Traffic have come together to promote a new campaign to publicize the project they have developed for a healthy city, with sustainable mobility and that respects the planet.
The proposal presented today at a press conference in Plaça de Sant Jaume in Barcelona, proposes the application of an urban toll as an evolution of the Barcelona Ring Roads Low Emissions Zone to dissuade the habitual individual use of private vehicles, together with a Plan for shock to promote active mobility and public transport.
The project, which has been prepared over a year following the technical rigor and the usual methodology in this type of project, contains low-cost, high-impact measures to achieve structural changes within two years. The main results:
– Reduction of traffic and its polluting emissions. A minimum 21% reduction directly due to the application of the toll, which will be higher with the shock plan.
– Road conversion with the elimination of urban highways to give priority to the most sustainable and equitable modes: BUS lane, HOV lane, bike lane and traffic lanes.
– 370 million euros per year in net income from tolls, which will be allocated to active mobility and public transport, and 10% to the public health system.
– Promotion of public transport: increase in the public transport offer, especially where there are fewer alternatives, connections with Barcelona beyond the metropolitan area. Urban and city entry bus lanes and improvement of the city’s main public transport interchanges. Extension of the integrated fare system throughout Catalonia and creation of an annual pass for public transport in Catalonia.
– 10% of the bike fee in Barcelona and the metropolitan area (current fee 2%).
– Recovery of public space for people, social life and the promotion of local commerce.
The organizations have recalled that Barcelona is the European city with the highest density of vehicles and the sixth most polluted. The private vehicle represents only 25% of the trips made to the Barcelona metropolis, but, on the other hand, it occupies more than 65% of the public space. The average occupancy rate is 1.2 people/vehicle and 69% of journeys come from the area where the metro arrives (in addition to the tram, FGC trains and suburban trains, and buses). For this reason, they have explained, the toll scheme they present, which would be €4/day, especially affects those who drive regularly and make individual and avoidable use of the vehicle and, therefore, it is proposed that vehicles be exempt from high occupancy.
The organizations have recalled that since 2017 they have presented to the administrations and political groups the demand for urban tolls, the main measure of the project, as it is the most effective action to reduce traffic and achieve structural changes to face the urgent challenges that it has. the metropolis: the improvement of air quality, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the energy consumption of transport, the determined promotion of active mobility and public transport, the reduction of noise pollution and accident rates, and the recovery of public space; improving the quality of life and promoting the commercial fabric of the neighbourhoods.
Although from the administrations involved they respond that they foresee it and that they are studying it; the reality is that beyond the declarations, they have not presented any proposal. Faced with this situation, the organizations have taken the initiative in preparing the project with the aim of questioning the competent administrations (Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Metropolitan Area and Generalitat) and the political groups that are part of it, so that they consider the implementation of the project and do not remain in false solutions or partial measures that, although some may be positive, do not respond in dimension and urgency to the current challenges.
The urban toll is a measure that is initially unpopular, such as the Tobacco Law or the points card; but that gains social support when executed, when the benefits for the population as a whole are seen, something that has been happening in the 19 cities of 8 European countries where it has been applied, where it was based on a previous support between 9% and 38% of the population in favor. To find out the current state of opinion in Barcelona, the organizations have commissioned a survey from the Cabinet of Social Studies and Public Opinion (GESOP) in the metropolitan area. The results show a favorable starting position for the urban toll in Barcelona, with 51% of those surveyed in favor.
Technical proposal, summary and more information: barcelona22.net
Contact: Maria García 672 47 84 52, Guille López 620 42 64 35, Adrià Ramírez 650 53 64 14.