At least 500 people came out to show their support for the recently innagurated bicycle lane on Via Augusta, last Saturday, October 21st 2023. The festive event was organized by Plataforma Bici Augusta, a coalition of volunteers, organizations and neighbors who advanced the idea of building a dedicated cycle path on Via Augusta a few years back. Now that the new cycle path has been inaugurated, the new Mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni and his team are considering removing this bike lane, to appease drivers and pro-auto lobbies. The Bike Action Via Augusta was designed to show the broad support for the new infrastructure and send a strong message to city leadership that reversing course was unacceptable. If anything, much more is needed to build a greener and healthier city.
It will be important for Barcelona to see how this plays out. If indeed the bike lane on Via Augusta is removed, it would set a terrible precendent . If on the other hand, the bike lane is preserved, it will demonstrate a consolidation of progress. Furthermore the momentum generated to protect the Via Augusta bike lane from removal may spill over in stronger organization and advocacy to advance on two other key bike infrastructure that is needed: first, the tunel connection Barcelona-Sant Cugat and second, new cycling infrastructure on c/Bonanova.
The city plans to release its report evaluating the Via Augusta cycle path in November 2023.