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Cyclists want better bike lane connections within Barcelona and to surrounding towns

According to RACC drivers association survey, cyclists reject using same lanes as buses and e-scooters

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05 July 2022 04:35 PM

by

Guifré Jordan | Barcelona

Cyclists of Barcelona want to see better connections by bike between the city and its surrounding towns and improvements within the Catalan capital's bike lane network.

This is one of the main takeaways of a survey conducted by the RACC drivers association, which took the opinion of 800 cyclists, that was presented on Tuesday. The paper also includes observations from the entity on the behavior of 16,000 cyclists and some e-scooter riders using bike lanes.

For instance, 89% of those asked believe that they do not have a safe route throughout the whole of their daily commute, that is, bike lanes or similar at all times, or roads limiting the speed of cars at 30km/h. This includes entering Barcelona from neighboring towns by bike.

Many (39%) say they would use the public bike sharing service, Bicing, if the service was available in surrounding towns and not only in Barcelona.

Also, the design of roundabouts and crossroads for them is overwhelmingly unsatisfactory (85%), as well as the separation (or lack of) between bike lanes and roads for cars (81%).

Sharing the same lane with buses is also mostly seen as negative (68%), as happens newly on Via Laietana and Carrer Pi I Margall.

Cyclists perceive that not only buses, but also vans and e-scooters, pose an especially big risk for them, while trams, pedestrians, and other bikes are seen as safer for their commutes.

One in five of those surveyed state that they have suffered an accident while riding their bike, but out of those, only 22% say it was someone else's fault, and half of them crashed on their own.

47% increase in commutes on 11 years ago

The use of bikes in Barcelona is booming, with 47% more commutes on weekdays compared to 11 years ago, at 145,000, but this is still lower than the last pre-pandemic year, 2019, when there were 160,000 weekly commutes on bike. This accounts for 3.3% of all means of transport. Between different municipalities, this figure drops to 1.1%.

Barcelona boasts 1,730 km of roads considered suitable for bikes, an increase of 15% compared with 2020.

Yet, parking spaces have gone up by a mere 0.1%, and the majority of the 37,193 spaces available in the city are on streets.

There are over 230km of dedicated bike lanes and around 100 of which have been built in the last six years.

This means that over 90% of the city’s population lives within 300m of a bike lane, which tend to be located on the pavement, on the road, or completely separately.

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  • A woman cycles a bike on Parallel Avenue in Barcelona (by Laura Fíguls)

  • A woman cycles a bike on Parallel Avenue in Barcelona (by Laura Fíguls)

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