Madrid Gran Via

Gran Via was closed for nine days in December 2016. Source:

Gran Via, a six-lane road located in the city center in Madrid, will be pedestrianized by 2019. Vehicles other than bikes, buses and taxis will be banned from this road.

Gran Via is a main road in the heart of Madrid, serving as an essential route for crosstown traffic. It is also home to a famous shopping center with historic buildings along the roadside. As it is a busy street, the pedestrianization scheme was controversial and opponents threatened to sue the city if it was really implemented. Nonetheless, the road was closed for nine days in December 2016, to show that this closure was a pragmatic and feasible solution. In fact, there was a 15% increase in sales during the trial period. The scheme is led by Mayor Manuela Carmena, who has a strong determination to implement this change. His motivation is supported by the emergency of tackling a bad air pollution problem — the level of nitrogen dioxide, the pollutant coming from vehicle emission in Madrid, has exceeded the WHO standard for six years in a row. Also, the initiative is supported by government policy. The General Urban Plan 2013 which clearly states that pedestrians should be given priority in urban planning, followed by public transport, bikes and lastly, cars.

Gran Via is a six-lane road with heavy traffic but will be pedestrianized before 2019 to enhance air quality.  Source:

Source: The Independent, The Guardian, Co-exsist