Motorcycles are not invisible, by Eva Arderius


This week the video of a forceful action by the City Council of New York. your mayor, Eric Adams, Accompanied by the highest police authorities in the city, he summoned all the press to a municipal warehouse. There were a hundred motorcycles confiscated by the police. The video shows how Adams places the last bike and with a flag like the one that marks the start of Formula 1 races, he gives the entrance to an excavator that passes, again and again, crushing literally all vehicles. Ensuring, thus, that none will circulate again. In this case wrecked bikes are illegal, they don’t have a license. But, saving the distances, I couldn’t help but imagine a similar scene here in Barcelona, ​​in this case with the motorcycles that park badly. Last week this newspaper placed on the front page the report promoted by different associations such as Catalunya Camina and Eixample Respira, which estimates that 90,000 motorcycles are parked illegally on the streets of the city every day.

Parking the motorcycle wrongly on the sidewalk is the most tolerated offense in Barcelona. But aside from administrative permissiveness, which has been and is. Why do motorists park like this? As in all groups, there are uncivil drivers, but others who are not. That they park badly and they do it with a completely clear conscience because they believe that it is a small license that they can take. The problem has a much deeper root. There are many reasons that can help explain why this Widespread infraction in the city. One of them has to do with the arrival of the bike and the scooter to the streets of Barcelona.

The new vehicles have meant that the motorcycle is no longer the source of all the “problems”, it is no longer under the spotlight. But there is more. Another reason is the inheritance of gratitude. The origin stems from a phrase, “if everyone who rides a motorcycle in Barcelona took the car, we wouldn’t fit in.” Many motorcyclists still believe that the mobility in general of the city owes them thanks for sacrificing themselves with the motorcycle so that the rest can continue taking the car. They are the same ones who think that motorcycles don’t bother anyone because they don’t take up space and sneak in everywhere, when in fact this is not the case. There is a perception problem. Motorcyclists do not move with the same metric parameters as other drivers. Many riders see their motorcycle as smaller than it is or think it is made of a moldable material. “Surely it will fit here”, they think as they put it between two motorcycles also badly parked on the sidewalk; “I’m sure they’ll pass,” they say to themselves, although the ass of the motorcycle makes things very difficult for cars that try to circulate on the single-platform street, or “here it doesn’t bother anyone,” even if the people who walk with strollers or bags have to maneuver to get past the sidewalk.

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But there is still another reason, time. This is a parameter that all drivers and citizens in general (not just motorcyclists) have to review. We are unrealistic, many times, we deceive ourselves. We always tend to calculate less time than we really need to move. And then we get angry and frustrated. And with the motorcycle, this happens even more. “With the motorcycle, it is a moment & rdquor ;, the speed associated with two wheels. The possibility of escaping from traffic jams, of overtaking using all the lanes, but above all of park at the door, even if it’s on the sidewalk. Unlike the car, with the motorcycle it never adds parking time at travel time. Is not taken into account.

If you really want to end itto overcrowding of sidewalks, Barcelona City Council will not only have to be more forceful with surveillance, sanctions and creating more parking spaces. It will also be necessary to change perceptions and ways of acting and promoting, I don’t know how, the empathy It won’t be easy, because thinking of others usually doesn’t save time or trouble.


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