The government of Ada Colau on Thursday presented the project of reform of the future Via Laietana. On the one hand, the renovation will turn Jonqueres Street into a pedestrian zone. The City Council plans to widen the sidewalks of the promenade. From there, there will be two lanes: one for the bus and one for private vehicles and bicycles, which cannot be used for more than 30 kilometers per hour. Ascent will be prohibited access to private cars and a bus lane and another for bicycles will be installed.
The Deputy Mayor for Ecology, Urbanism, Infrastructure and Mobility, Janet Sanz, announced that after working on the different space distribution scenarios that emerged in the participatory projects of Via Laietana, a intermediate solution. Work will begin in the last quarter of 2021 and end before the municipal mandate ends in 2023. The investment is expected to cost 34 million euros.
The Via Laietana has an area of 42,000 square meters and a length of 1,090 meters. “The sidewalks will grow from the current 2.5 meters to 4.15. In the driveway we will leave behind the current model, which is almost exclusively focused on private mobility. Downhill, there will be a lane for buses and taxis and another limited to 30 kilometers per hour, and uphill there will be only one lane for buses, taxis and at some point also cars of the residents. There will also be an uphill bike lane, “said Sanz.
According to data from the City Council, an average of 47,400 vehicles are currently traveling on Via Laietana, of which 28,700 are downhill. According to the same studies, cars now moving down the street will be moved to the Paseo de Picasso to access the city center.
Another new feature is the creation of green spaces at the junction of Via Laietana and Calle Jonqueres; also in the squares Antoni Maura, of the Angel and Antonio López. The Councilor for Old Town, Jordi Rabassa, said on Thursday that during the reform it would be used to pacify, among others, the Carrer Àngel Baixeras and La Fusteria. “The new green points will talk with other spaces that already function as meeting places, such as the Plaza de Ramon Berenguer el Gran, which will also improve their access with the renovation of sidewalks and immediate space,” said Rabassa.
Sanz also emphasized that the reform project for Via Laietana also envisages the renewal and improvement of urban networks and services on the basement of the street. As a result, water, electricity, communications and public lighting facilities, among others, will be renovated.
“Via Laietana will no longer be an urban freeway and the distressing promenade it is now,” said Sanz. Rabassa, meanwhile, added that the Barcelona City Council is negotiating with the Government a new location for the Superior Police Prefecture, located at 43 Via Viet Laietana, as agreed by the two administrations.