Yesterday, I posted about the beneficial effects the coronavirus lockdown was having on air quality in Granada. I concluded there was no way we could or should return to what had been normal before the outbreak of the pandemic.

Today I was encouraged to read the headline in the local Ideal newspaper proposing bike lanes to prevent a return to the widespread use of the private car after the lockdown.

But on second look, it turned out to be a proposed temporary measure. Bike lanes are to be introduced to minimalise the effect of people switching from public to private transport to avoid the risk of contagion. If, on returning to work, people switch from bus and metro to their private car for safety reasons, there will be a huge increase in air pollution. The scheme aims to facilitate “sustainable individual transport” [uso del transporte individual sostenible] – in the place of anti-social individual transport (= the motorcar).

If we look at the diagram, we note the provision of temporary bollards between car lanes and bike lanes, which can be easily removed when things return to ‘normal’ (ie heavy traffic) [Balizas provisionales que se podrían retirar cuando el transporte público vuelva a la normalidad]. Very disappointing. The diagram also indicates a speed limit of 30kph. But this speed limit was approved by the city council for the whole of the city centre as long ago as March 2019 [post #106, 15 Apr 2019], though as far as I can see nothing has been done since then to implement it.

These proposed temporary measures need to be made permanent. The lockdown has proved that the seemingly impossible is possible, after all. The diagram suggests that these city-centre bike lanes should be linked up with the network of bike lanes that now cover the metropolitan area. [Los carriles se coordinarán con los que unen el área metropolitana.] Hitherto, Granada’s bike lanes have been introduced piecemeal, with no overarching co-ordinated plan. Too many of these bike lanes are “roads to nowhere”. A sensible, co-ordinated network of bike lanes in Granad is possible.