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Central Madrid set to go car-free

Mardrid's city center won't be as car-free as the Plaza Mayor, but close. (Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/flickr/cc)

Beginning in January, Madrid’s city center will be closed to most vehicular traffic.

Angie Schmitt reports for Streetsblog USA that the only cars allowed inside the auto-free zone would be those owned by residents who live there. Motorcycles and delivery vehicles would be permitted during restricted hours.

Nearly 500 acres will be closed to traffic as part of a broader plan, unveiled in December, to transform Madrid into a pedestrian’s dream. Traffic that normally jams Madrid’s center would be rerouted along major avenues outside the downtown core. Cars that illegally enter the restricted zone could be subject to fines of €90 ($114 US). 

The plan is expected to reduce traffic in the affected areas by at least a third. To further deter driving, the city has installed parking meters that charge gas guzzlers higher fees. 

Streetsblog USA

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