All across the globe, motorcycles contribute greatly to the mobility of the masses. While this may not so much be the case in the U.S., this is certainly true across Asia and Europe, where motorcycles account for a sizable chunk of motor vehicles on the roads. Unfortunately, however, infrastructure in most cities still favors cars and four-wheeled vehicles.
In Barcelona, Spain, this could all change, as the city is planning on revamping its streets to better accommodate vehicles of the two-wheeled variety. In 2022 alone, 16 people died as a result from two-wheeler accidents. Now, instead of banning motorcycles from the street—like what's happening in Paris—Barcelona is taking a more inclusive approach by redeveloping parts of the roadways to be safer for motorcyclists.
According to the Ajuntement de Barcelona, this entails tackling the problem with a two-pronged approach. The first is how motorcyclists and drivers ride and drive. The purpose of this is to offer training programs, real-world examples, and safe driving seminars to both two- and four-wheeler users. For the longest time, car drivers have been trained to look out for other cars—and not so much motorbikes and bicycles. This program hopes to change that.
Secondly, the Barcelona City Council also wants to concentrate on technical innovation through initiatives that allow for the introduction of technology devices that assist motorbike riders and pinpoint accident hotspots. One method of looking for answers for the industry will be the recently formed urban mobility lab.With this, we could expect to see new technology deployed to give motorcyclists a heads up of accident prone areas, as well as changing weather and road conditions.
Barcelona, like many other cities in Europe, is heavily dependent on motorcycles for the mobility of its citizenry. In fact, 33 percent of all registered motor vehicles in the city are of the two-wheeled variety, as such, it's important to develop safer roadways for such a major player in the city's mobility.