14 kilometres of Palma's streets will be pedestrianised on Saturdays and Sundays from this weekend so that people can walk or play sports safely during the de-escalation of the coronavirus restrictions.
Mayor, José Hila has confirmed that the pedestrianisation will be from 0600 on Saturday until 2300 on Sunday in neighbourhoods that are heavily populated or where there's not enough space for people to comply with social distancing.
Nine kilometres will be pedestrianised along the coast from Palacio de Congresos to La Ronda del dique del Oeste on the side nearest the sea; Carrer del Vicari Joaquim Fuster will be closed to traffic from Portixol to Ciutat Jardí in El Molinar and first line from Ca’n Pastilla to Carrer dels Trobadors in Playa de Palma will also be pedestrianised.
The Avenidas will be be closed to traffic from Avenida Alemania to Carrer de Sant Miquel.
In the north of the city, the pedestrianised route will stretch from the Jaume II military barracks roundabout up Camí dels Reis, past Colegio Madre Alberta, along Carrer Miquel Lladó to the Son Quint roundabout then on to La Pileta roundabout, which will affect the neighbourhoods of La Vileta, Son Rapinya, Son Xigala and Son Ximelis.
On the east side of the city, the pedestrian route will stretch from Carrer de Nuredduna in the Avenidas to Plaza las Columnas in Pere Garau and traffic will be banned from Carrer del Pare Bartomeu Pou in Bons Aires to Carrer de Niceto Alcalá Zamora between Carrer de la Llibertad and Carrer de Pascual Ribot in El Camp d’en Serralta.
Mayor Hila tweeted the details saying this is just the first phase and that more streets may be pedestrianised in the future and "reaffirming Palma's commitment to sustainable mobility."
Obrim 14 km de carrers perquè la ciutadania tingui més espai per a passejar i fer esport i poder mantenir la distància de seguretat. Començam la primera fase aquest cap de setmana i properament anirem sumant més carrers i hores.— Jose Hila/❤ (@hila) May 6, 2020
Aquí teniu els espais que obrim 👇👇👇 pic.twitter.com/LLFGuWEfmX
Mobilitat Councillor Francesc Dalmau said that the aim is to pedestrianise the streets during off-peak hours and that residents who park in the affected areas will be able to drive in and out but Local Police will be checking their details. Cars already parked in the affected areas will be allowed to stay there even when streets during pedestrianised hours.
Mayor Hill also said it’s possible that the initiative will be extended to more days of the week and include more areas of the city.
Traffic flow is now 65% lower than it was before the pandemic began, so he doesn’t expect any problems to be caused by the traffic restrictions.
Citizen Security Councillor, Joana Maria Adrover, noted that since May 2, more than 40 neighbourhood parks reopend, as well as the four biggest green areas in the city and bike lanes, with at least 80 Police Officers monitoring the areas to make sure people are complying with the restrictions.
Ciutat de Modell Councillor, Neus Truyol explained that more work is being done to ensure that Palma responds to the needs of all residents and Citizen Participation Councillor, Alberto Jarabo, said the new measures were not planned but also not unexpected because of the Covid-19 health crisis.
Palma City Council is now waiting for the Central Government to make a decision about the beaches.
“The State will decide when you can go to the beaches and then we will set the rules," said Councillor Jarabo. “We’re not interested in being first to generate news, we want to be the first to provide a solution.”
Details about a new agreement for terraces in Palma is scheduled to be announced on Thursday.