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Cycling Freedom in Barcelona Under Pressure

Barcelona Spins Out of Control: Cars Triumph, Cyclists Disheartened!

26th of January 2024

Tensions are rising in the city with the introduction of new rules for cyclists in the old city center of Barcelona. Since the arrival of the new mayor, Jaume Collboni, it seems as though the city is regressing, with cars reclaiming dominance over the old city. It is, to say the least, astonishing that cycling is being restricted in the historical city center while cars and motorcycles still have free rein.

cycling freedom in Barcelona
image created with A.I for Perry Tours

Cycling freedom in Barcelona under pressure

Cycling in Barcelona: New Rules

This new measure, forcing cyclists to dismount in about thirty streets of the neighborhood, has caused significant dissatisfaction among residents.

It is paradoxical that in a district where public space is limited and the pressure of tourism is high, the mobility of residents is being restricted instead of addressing the core problem of the ambiguity in pedestrian, car, and cyclist right of way.

Not only is it extremely inconvenient for the residents of Barcelona that cycling is no longer allowed in more than 30 streets of the city, but this measure also significantly impacts the numerous bike tour companies based in the old city center. It has become nearly impossible for them to organize a smooth and relaxed bike tour. Some of these companies are located in the now forbidden streets, meaning they have to start the first part of their bike tour on foot, detracting from the unique experience they aim to provide.

Cycling freedom in Barcelona under pressure

The Impact of New Cycling Regulations in Barcelona

Moreover, the effect of this new legislation on many courier services should not be underestimated. These services, which are now largely based on bicycle deliveries, face significant challenges. They deliver thousands of packages daily in the old city center, and the new rules considerably complicate their work.

This also applies to popular meal delivery services like Uber Eats or Deliverum, which rely on bicycles for delivering many  of orders per day. Now they face restrictions in large parts of the city, affecting their efficiency and delivery speed.

These developments come at a time when Barcelona seemed to be leading the way in Spain in terms of bike infrastructure and cyclist-friendliness. Under the administration of the former mayor, Ada Colau, the city had made significant progress. However, with the recent changes, it seems Barcelona is taking a step back, moving away from the progressive approach it had embraced to create a cyclist-friendly environment. This raises questions about the future of sustainable mobility and the role of bicycles in Barcelona’s urban landscape.

new bicycle law barcelona 2024

Cycling in Barcelona: new rules

Streets in Barcelona where cycling is now prohibited are:

 

  • Calle de la Palla
  • Calle del Bisbe
  • Calle de l’Ave Maria
  • Baixada de Santa Eulàlia
  • Calle dels Banys Nous
  • Calle d’Avinyó
  • Calle de la Boqueria
  • Callede Sant Honorat
  • Calle de Montjuïc del Bisbe
  • Calle de Sant Sever
  • Calle de Salomó Ben Adret
  • Calle de Sant Felip Neri
  • Calle de la Llibreteria
  • Calle del Call
  • Calle dels Tres Llits / Carrer de la Lleona
  • Calle d’Escudellers
  • Calle de n’Arai
  • Calle de Simó Oller
  • Calle dels Banys Vells
  • Calle de Mirallers
  • Calle dels Vigatans
  • Calle d’en Robador (entre carrer de Sant Rafael i carrer de l’Hospital)
  • Calle de Flassaders
  • Calle del Pou de la Cadena
  • Calle de l’Arc del Teatre

 

Tips for Cycling in Barcelona According to the New Rules:

  1. Know the New Rules:  In more than 30 streets, cycling is no longer allowed. Familiarize yourself with these streets and avoid them during your bike ride. Learn more about traffic rules for cyclists in Barcelona here.

  2. Alternative Routes and Bike-Friendly Neighborhoods: Discover alternative routes that keep you out of the forbidden zones. Use maps and apps to plan your route in advance.

  3. Utilize Bike Services and Bike Tours: At bike tour companies like Perry Tours, customers are informed about the new rules to prevent surprises, ensuring you can still enjoy a unique biking experience.

Conclusion:

As Barcelona struggles to balance its historical charm with the needs of modern city dwellers, it’s important for cyclists to adapt to the changing circumstances. By respecting the new rules and making smart choices, we can still enjoy the freedom and pleasure of biking in this beautiful city.

Profiel foto Perry Janssens - Perry Tours

Greetings from Barcelona! I’m Perry, city guide and driving force behind Perry Tours. For over twenty years, this fascinating city has been my beloved home. After a rewarding journey as a city guide, we share our love for Barcelona by organizing daily guided bicycle tours in Barcelona.

City guide and founder

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