Tuesday, December 1

Bike lanes are just the beginning

The mayor of Sustainable Mobility, Esther Díez, in the bike path of José María Buck street.  |  MATÍAS SEGARRA

The mayor of Sustainable Mobility, Esther Díez, in the bike path of José María Buck street. | MATÍAS SEGARRA

Bike lanes like the one on Juan Carlos I avenue they are just the beginning of what awaits Elche. The City Council wants to transform the way of circulating in the next decade. Limit speed to 30 kilometers per hour throughout the urban core, create green corridors, eliminate 1,600 parking spaces, encourage car sharing, promote a network of dissuasive parking, expand the cycling network and the bus fleet … the Sustainable Mobility Plan commissioned by the government team from engineering experts, which is in the process of being approved by the Generalitat.

The document is still very initial and the Department of Mobility (in the hands of Compromís) will have to specify it more, but its general lines have already won both followers and detractors. Here the 9 keys to understand it.

1 Objectives

Promote walking, promote the use of bicycles and more accessible public transport and rationalize the use of private vehicles. It is the philosophy of the plan. The main argument that the government team has made to defend it is the need to reduce pollution and “pacify” the streets, designed for pedestrians.

2 Palmeral

The roads that cross the Palmeral de Elche will be protected for their high cultural and landscape value. For the Curtidores street, a one-way passage is proposed. It is the only two-way street of this type. Currently there is a large amount of surface parking. For Avenida de Candalix, it is suggested to move to a single lane compatible with the presence of a single bus stop. For the Camino del Pantano they propose to reduce the traffic load to a minimum (emergencies and residents) and leave it for pedestrian and cyclist use.

3 Green corridors

For dual lane streets and battery parking, with the absence of cycle paths and narrow sidewalks, changes are planned. The objective is to promote an urban green infrastructure that allows connecting streets with the Vinalopó River through a series of paths. For this, sidewalks, vegetation and urban furniture are increased. Surface parking is eliminated. On the slope of the Vinalopó, El Pla and Carrús have designed these green corridors.

4 inner round

The new mobility plan of Elche proposes to make an internal round to circulate that crosses the entire urban area of ​​Elche from East to West on the periphery, from the area of ​​the Vinalopó University Hospital to Altabix, and from north to south from Avenida de la Freedom to El Pla. It will have a cycling ring preferably on the road and segregated from road traffic, such as the one on Juan Carlos I street.

The aim is to create a road traffic distributor that avoids penetrations into the historical plot of the Palmeral and the old town of Elche, as well as the excessive use of the orthogonal plot of El Pla and Carrús. The enclosure of the first ring includes the areas with the highest population density in the municipality. To the north of the area covered by the first ring, the question of the road that the University must cross to free the Camino del Pantano from traffic load remains to be resolved.

The inner ring could be closed to the east by two roads: Sucre avenue and Passeig de Tractat d’Elx.

5 Elimination of car parks

The elimination of 1,600 parking spaces has been one of the most controversial measures proposed by the City Council to gain public space. Specifically, the elimination of 710 in Carrús is expected to gain 14,200 square meters of public space. As an example, they propose adapting axes like Capitá Antonio Mena. They also plan to remove 510 places in El Pla and the surroundings of the Palmeral to achieve 10,200 square meters of public space. For this, Gabriel Miró, Marqués de Asprillas, Tanners, Candalix, Escultor Capuz and Porta Morera will be remodeled. They will also eliminate 383 more squares in the downtown area and El Raval to achieve 7,600 square meters of space for pedestrians. In these neighborhoods, they propose to remodel the network of car parks and enable specific ones for residents, in addition to the free and regulated parking spaces that are already known in the city. They also propose “dissuasive” car parks in areas that have yet to be specified, although they initially point to the Carrús industrial estate, the Martínez Valero area, L ‘Aljub and the Bimil·lenari bridge.

6 Pedestrianization of the center

Most pedestrianized roads with a single platform (sidewalks level with the road, where the pedestrian has priority) are located north of the Corredora. The municipal intention is to extend the pedestrianization towards the south, integrating the public spaces and the most important nodes of El Raval. In these areas priority itineraries are established for bicycles and pedestrians that cross from East to West the historical plot between the Palmeral and the Vinalopó. In the long term, the recovery of the surface parking bags found in the downtown area of ​​Raval de San Josep could be reformulated as public spaces.

7 The Plan

In this neighborhood they have detected a saturation of vehicles due to surface parking and road traffic. For this reason, the municipal plan involves betting on green corridors and limiting cars. The intention is to leave the roads attached to the Palmeral in one direction, increase the bike lane and promote the paths of the Palmeral, in addition to connecting the main squares of the neighborhoods.

8 Cycling ring

The mobility plan has detected that there is a lack of cycling connection on the Ferrocarril and Altamira bridges and that it is necessary to improve the connection between the east and west banks of the Vinalopó. For the center, El Pla and the Palmeral there are plans for a greater presence of bike lanes. The creation of safe school routes and increasing bicycle parking are other objectives.

9 Public transport

The City Council proposes to promote transport on demand in the center, expand the urban bus network, improve the transport of the Business Park, improve the accessibility of stops and information on interchanges.

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