The Prime Minister and former Mayor of Lisbon, Santana Lopes, has lambasted the idea of closing one street for European Day Without Traffic, calling it a “stunt” and “nothing but an irritation for many people”. Meanwhile, a representative from his office commented that, while under his control, the câmara had “pioneered the closing of many streets to cars, not only for one day but on a permanent basis”. These pedestrianised areas include Bairro Alto, Bica, Alfama and Santa Catarina.
However, the current Lisbon Câmara executive confirmed that it would be taking part in September 22’s European Day Without Traffic – even if it would only be by closing part of the Rua Rosa Araújo, which runs parallel with Avenida da Liberdade. A spokesman explained that instead of playing a greater part in the day, the authority would be preparing to present plans for the city’s future transport strategy during the upcoming European Week of Mobility.
New plans for Lisbon’s transport infrastructures
The câmara’s plans were due to be presented today (September 24) at Forum Roma, during a seminar entitled ‘Strategy for Better and Safer Mobility in Lisbon’. They include the construction of a road and rail infrastructure for Alcântara, details of the closure of the Arco do Cego coach station and the presentation of a garden project, following which the new Sete Rios public transport terminal will be officially opened. The câmara has also signed an agreement with the Universidade Nova de Lisboa to produce a study about the air quality of city zones with restricted traffic, and opened a school for the study of traffic in Bela Vista.
A spokesman also confirmed that, as part of an experimental project, a series of public transport lanes is being introduced in Rua da Junqueira, featuring barriers similar to those at the tolls on the 25 de Abril bridge.