Mobility. The Guàrdia Urbana police force has carried out an information campaign on Rambla de Catalunya, one of the areas where riding a bicycle on the pavement is not permitted, because there is a slow traffic lane on either side.
The Guàrdia Urbana police force has carried out an information campaign on Rambla de Catalunya, one of the areas where riding a bicycle on the pavement is not permitted, because there is a slow traffic lane on either side. The campaign, which concerns the whole of the Eixample district, aims to improve coexistence between cyclists and pedestrians as well as protecting bicycles from motor vehicles.
A girl is riding her bicycle along the central section of Rambla de Catalunya and a Guàrdia Urbana officer stops her to tell her that she is committing an offence. This has been a familiar scene in the area over the last six months, as part of the information and control campaign carried out by the Barcelona police force.
The fact is that cycling along a boulevard, a pavement or a pedestrian area when there is an alternative available is behaviour that is expressly forbidden by current traffic regulations for pedestrians and vehicles.
This is the case in Rambla de Catalunya, where cyclists cannot ride along the central pavement because there is a side lane for slow traffic on either side.
The regulations state that bicycles have to travel along bicycle lanes or on the road in 30 kph areas, and if there are none available they have to use the other roadways. Bicycles are only allowed on pavements when none of these options are available. However, these pavements or boulevards must be more than 5 metres wide, with more than 3 metres of open space and with no temporary obstacles, i.e. where bicycles can travel for five continuous metres.
Neither is it allowed to ride in a reckless fashion, to disobey traffic lights, or to use headphones or mobile phones while riding.
In order to improve compliance with regulations, the Guàrdia Urbana police force has been carrying out a specific information and control campaign throughout the Eixample district for the last six months, with special attention being paid to Rambla de Catalunya.
“The aim, which I believe is being achieved, is to improve civic behaviour among cyclists in a district where bicycles are extensively used, and to carry out accompanying informative measures in order to avoid conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians, as well as protecting bicycles from possible antisocial behaviour from drivers”, explained District Councillor Gerard Ardanuy.
During this campaign, the Guàrdia Urbana has filed reports on 869 cyclists in the district, mostly for not stopping at red traffic lights, and they have also filed reports on 387 drivers for not respecting the priority for bicycles, driving on bicycle lanes or stopping or parking on bicycle lanes.
This increased focus on ensuring compliance with the regulations is due to a major increase in the number of these vehicles on the city’s streets, and consequently the number of conflictive incidents they are involved in. In Barcelona, the number of bicycle journeys per day has increased from 47,000 a day in 2006 to the current figure of 126,000 a day.
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