Spanish Culture and News

Mayor’s latest plans to clog up the streets.

After Mayor Gallardon’s sterling efforts this summer to dig up every other street in the capital in time for the autumn return to work, a new plan is born to bring further agonies to the city streets in the New Year. This time, ironically, it’s more public transport that’s going to cause all the problems. The Metro will not be opening throughout the night on Fridays and Saturdays as had originally been hoped. A fleet of 109 buses will be following the exact route of the Metro lines and stops instead.

That should be interesting in the case of Line 3, whose stops pop up in some of the tightest streets of the old quarter. Driving a car past Lavapies Metro is hard enough, let alone a bus. And anyone who has sat in atraffic jam in a taxi on the Paseo de la Castellana at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning will quickly spot the futility of this plan. The traffic in the early hours of a Saturday is as bad as it is at 9 a.m. on Mondays. Adding 109 more heavy diesel vehicles into the mix is not going to help, especially as the Madrileños are far too addicted to their cars to see this as an interesting alternative, whether they have been drinking or not.

The real question must be, however, what is wrong with the Metro? Why clog up the city streets by following these perfectly good underground routes, routes that would ease the overground chaos instead of exacerbating it? Perhaps it’s part of Mayor Gallardon’s secret plan to drive us all to hate our cars with such a passion that we eventually sell them all in exchange for bicycles. Yes! The suicidal pursuit of cycling in Madrid! Don’t get me started on that…