Barcelona tackles traffic around school districts

Following a fatal hit-and-run outside a school in Barcelona, the city has established an initiative to tackle vehicle speed and air quality in school districts. The program, ‘Protecting Schools,’ aims to reduce traffic around 78 schools between this year and next.

The ‘Protecting Schools’ programme will see traffic calming measures and improved shared space implemented around schools improving their surroundings and guaranteeing safety. The project is designed to revamp the immediate area, improving air quality, creating more places for interaction and reducing noise and accidents. The measures will benefit over 8,450 students.

The project reduces space used by vehicles by eliminating traffic lanes and parking spaces, while cutting speed limits to 20kmph. Lighting is being improved and safety elements installed. Access to the calmed space is indicated with orange paint and a specific horizontal logo. A volunteer programme is also to be implemented to control traffic before and after school.

Barcelona’s mayor and the councillor for Urbanism, Janet Sanz, said, "The objective is to transform the urban planning and mobility of Barcelona from schools. Making a city more humane, safer and more enjoyable."