Barcelona will start the reform of the Via Laietana in March … and the Rambla (still) is waiting for its turn

BarcelonaThey are two of the most discussed and modified reform projects in Barcelona in recent years, but one, the Via Laietana, already has a budget and schedule and the other, the Rambla, is still waiting for details, while the delay meter is installed On the Café de l’Opera has reached 2,000 days. The City Council has approved this Tuesday in the commission of Urbanism the transformation of the Via Laietana, that will have like outstanding change the widening of sidewalks until the four meters and the limitation of the private traffic to an only lane of descent and with the speed limited to 30 km / h. In the direction of the mountains, there will be a lane for the bus – which can also be used by the residents of Via Laietana and Barceloneta – and a separate one for bicycles. Instead, in the direction of the sea, cyclists will share a lane with buses and taxis – this is the point that has generated the most controversy in the project – and there will be the only lane for private vehicles. The alternative route will be along Passeig Picasso and Lluís Companys.

The forecast is to start renewing the service networks (wiring, pipes …) next March and that the reform itself will be launched in June and will involve an investment of 32.9 million euros. The commission also gave the green light this Tuesday, with the votes of the municipal government and ERC, to the executive project of the first section that will be reformed, which goes from Plaça Urquinaona to Plaça d’Antoni Maura. These works will last fourteen months and will cost 16.8 million. Once completed, the same drawing will be applied at the bottom of the Via Laietana, to the Plaza de Antonio López, which is expected to be divided into two: the future squares of Idrissa Diallo and the Post Office. The reform will give a lot of prominence to the Plaza de Antoni Maura, which has become the great space between the cathedral and the Mercat de Santa Caterina, and will generate a new square at the junction with Jonqueres, which will become a priority for to pedestrians.

Layout of the new Via Laietana

While all municipal groups have reiterated the urgency of the works on the Via Laietana, of the opposition only Republicans have supported the project, after the municipal government has accepted some of its amendments, while the other formations have defended the vote against: JxCat has criticized the lack of transparency on the impact on mobility and trade, and the PP that the initiative serves to “go against vehicles”.

In the debate of the commission, the deputy mayor of Urbanism, Janet Sanz, has congratulated so that finally can begin the works of Via Laietana and settle like this “a pending debt that no government had dared to do until now “and, at the same time, because when the project is finished, the idea of ​​Ildefons Cerdà will be recovered, because the street will promote sustainable mobility and the prominence of pedestrians.

The opposition calls for a timetable for the Rambla

As for La Rambla, the commission has unanimously approved a proposal by ERC and another by JxCat for the municipal executive to commit to setting a timetable and a departure for the renovation works, so that there is no there are more delays and they can start next year. This is a project with a clearly political derivative, because Republicans put it as a paradigmatic example of the government’s breaches of budget agreements and make it difficult to agree on municipal accounts for 2022. In this regard, the ERC spokesman in the committee , Jordi Coronas, has accused the government of “lack of courage” and “trilerism”, and has said that if he had an interest in endowing the works with a game he would have already done so. For his part, Sanz defended the government’s “leadership” in this initiative and urged the opposition – in particular the ERC – to rethink the vote for municipal accounts: “If the project is approved before the end of the year we can incorporate it into the budgets, “he said.

Accountant of the days that have passed without doing the works on the Rambla

“The works on the Sagrada Família will be finished and those on the Rambla will not have started yet,” said Fermín Villar, president of Amics de la Rambla, who resigned with the strongest regret for the repeated forgetfulness of this transformation. He is grateful that the groups are now “concerned about the Rambla”, but regrets that for too many years this reform has been used as a “currency of exchange” and has not materialized. The debate dates back to 2016, when the road management plan was approved, and is the date that gives the starting point to the delay days counter: five and a half years late.

Since then, an international competition has been called to select the kmZERO team, with former councilor and architect Itziar González at the helm, as site manager, and the executive project was processed last March. , still without a start date for works and pending budget availability. What was agreed at the beginning of the year was an extra investment of 150,000 euros to repair the pavement while the final works did not begin. “Pedaços”, according to Villar, who remarks that Amics de la Rambla has presented allegations to the project and has asked, for example, that the deadlines be accelerated so that the Rambla is not built for so many years. The municipal planning is to make the reform in five phases of a year and a half each, and the alternative proposal is to be able to accelerate it to three phases and a maximum of five years.

The refurbishment project envisages widening sidewalks and the central part, with a unified pavement with horizontal lines from façade to façade, and limiting traffic to a single lane in each direction. A transformation that wants to start from the bottom and that will involve an investment of about 44.5 million euros. The first step must be the final approval of the executive project and resolve conflicts such as those with restaurateurs and kiosks on the maximum space that can occupy the terraces and newsstands. Amics de la Rambla details that the debate will have to be reopened with the Gremi de Restauradores because they had agreed that restaurants could maintain the number of tables in exchange for improving the quality of what they offered, and says that this change has been seen in very few places . The City Council is also awaiting the removal of the old bird stalls, now converted into shops of all kinds, which it had been pointed out would be done as early as this 2021.

Source: – Portada by

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