The Pontevedra model offers cities around the world helpful testimonials and proven benefits to make urban life better and remarkably increase quality of life.
Andrés Muruais St. connects the city center with the Campolongo district. Almost 5,000 motorized vehicles crossed this short stretch every day a decade ago. Today, even though destination traffic is still permitted, there are only two lanes: one to drive and one to park for a short period of time, free of charge. Pedestrians now have enough space to move around freely and safely.
In Cobián Roffignac, a two-way street in the business district, more than 11,000 motorized vehicles (4,300 heading down and 6,800 heading up) had pedestrians almost with their backs against the wall. Today, the installation of a single platform and the enforcement of traffic calming measures, such as a system of removable bollards has brought down those numbers dramatically.
Compostela Sq., located in a densely-populated area where several long streets converge, received traffic flows from the north to the south exceeding 15,000 motorized vehicles per day. Narrow sidewalks and indiscriminate illegal parking have given way to organized intermodality and harmonious coexistence.
Riestra St., with 18,900 motorized vehicles per day, boasted one the densest traffic volumes in the whole city. After the transformation, Riestra became part of the pedestrian district withdrawing cars completely, installing a single platform, benefiting more natural forms of mobility and boosting local commerce around Council Sq.
Curros Enríquez Sq., at the heart of the Historic Center, was starting to perceive the worrisome decay of heritage sites due to traffic flows of more than 7,000 motorized vehicles per day. An area inundated with cars gradually shifted into an open pedestrianized space ideal for children to play outside after school.
Gutiérrez Mellado St., where the former headquarters of a public transport company were located and whose traffic density exceeded 5,000 cars and buses per day, is now a boulevard leading towards Palmeiras Ave.
Verdura Sq. has been completely pedestrianized to avoid the potential dangers of indiscriminate parking in the city center. The square is packed with visitors during the summer holidays and major festivities, which is partly explained by the proximity of bars and restaurants, the availability of outside terraces all year round, as well as the wonderful acoustics of the stone arcades and porticos.
Michelena St., where sidewalks were minimal but still more than 12,000 vehicles were allowed to circulate and park indiscriminately day and night has been transformed into one of the main shopping and administrative hubs in the city.
The case of España Sq. was quite extraordinary even in terms of the previous city model: it was a place where 12,200 cars from Michelena St., 10,400 cars from Alameda and an extra 2,100 heading up from Arzobispo Malvar converged to create a permanent traffic jam.
Many other roads have also been positively affected by these interventions aimed at reducing motorized traffic flows in the city center and the inner ring. Only a few examples are listed below. The first figure indicates the number of vehicles circulating in 1997, while the second indicates the number of vehicles in 2016.
- Compostela Ave. 28,100 / 8,700
- Marín Ave. 28,000 / 15,200
- Paseo de Colón 22,800 / 10,500
- Daniel de la Sota 21,200 / 2,000
- Benito Corbal 20,600 / 4,500
- Uruguay 18,000 / 8,600
- Joaquín Costa 17,600 / 4,900
- Vigo Ave. 17,600 / 4,400
- Loureiro Crespo 17,500 / 14,000
- Reina Victoria 17,200 / 13,000
- Fernández Ladreda 16,800 / 10,000
- Andrés Mellado 14,200 / 3,200
- Buenos Aires 12,900 / 10,200
- Manuel del Palacio 12,000 / 10,200
- Echegaray 11,200 / 8,400
- A Coruña Ave. 9,700 / 4,500
- José Malvar 9,100 / 11,700
- Eduardo Pondal 6,600 / 5,000
- San Antoniño 6,500 / 6,100