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Madrid Moves to Boot Car Traffic Out of Its City Center

Photo: Diriye Amey/Wikimedia Commons

A major city center without cars? Madrid is going to come close sometime in the next year, says the administration of Mayor Manuela Carmena.

Earlier this week, Madrid officials announced their intention to ban non-resident cars inside the ring of avenues around the city center, CityLab's Feargus O'Sullivan reports. Central city streets will no longer be through routes for private cars, and no major roads will be exempt.

It's the continuation of Carmena's concerted policies to reduce traffic and motor vehicle usage. Since 2015, Madrid has restricted car traffic in three residential zones. And last year, Carmena announced plans to make Gran Via, a six-lane highway that runs through the city center, car-free. During a nine-day trial of a Gran Via without cars in 2016, nearby shop owners reported a 15 percent increase in business, O'Sullivan reports.

This summer the city will use paint and signals to mark the "Área de Prioridad Residencial" (APR), where through traffic will be restricted.

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Private motor vehicle through traffic will no longer be allowed on Madrid's Área de Prioridad Residencial, with a phased implementation starting in November. Map: City of Madrid
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The policy will be phased in starting this November. At first drivers passing though will just be warned. By February, drivers violating the policy will be fined €90 via camera enforcement.

The low-car city center is one of 30 measures Madrid is taking to reduce pollution under its "Plan A," reports El Diario.

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