16 May 2011

The Bicing on the Cake. Viva Espana, Part 3

We were in the Catalan capital this week whilst Marga was invited to teach at the Barcelona School of Architecture. I continued to be impressed and amazed by the transformation of Barcelona into a cycling city, led by the immensely popular bike hire scheme – Bicing. There are over 6000 bikes and more than 400 stations spread across the more central part of Barcelona – the Barrio Gotica, Eixample and Gracia. I was even more delighted to hear that my family members who live in Barcelona use the system, even though they are normally car users, as it is as fast as driving from A to B in the centre, but without the parking problems. The classic Copenhagenize theory of a-to-bism in fluid motion.

Sadly, due to our working schedule and location I was not able to try out the system – although that is easier said than done, as tourists are perhaps discouraged from using the bikes by way of the registration process and need for a Catalan address. I am luckier than many, having access to a membership card, so next time I am determined to give it a spin. The family currently live just off the Avenida Diagonal at the Zona Universidad end. I would love to give it a go down the arrow straight cycle path that runs for several kilometers along the Avenida Diagonal at the upper end, and also along the lower end to the sea. Two bicycle carriageways, completely separated from traffic and also with dedicated traffic signals. And very, very popular.

So popular in fact that we've had to air-brush out all the cyclists just so you can see the view

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