Madrid begins work to limit traffic on major blvd in wake of attack

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-29 00:21:38|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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MADRID, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Work began on Tuesday to limit the traffic on the emblematic Gran Via here in the center of the city during the Christmas season.

Workers have begun to place a series of 1,100 kg concrete blocks on the thoroughfare, reducing it from three lanes in each direction to just one, plus a lane for taxis and buses.

This means that between Dec. 1 and Jan. 7, there will be 28 days when the street will be closed to all private vehicles with just buses and taxis allowed.

In 2016, the Gran Via closed to traffic on weekends in the run-up to Christmas, but only plastic barriers in place. These barriers were then removed to allow traffic to return to normal on weekdays.

However, this year's concrete barriers will take up to four days to install and will only be removed at the end of the holiday period.

This in turn can be seen as a trial run as Madrid Town Hall recently confirmed that the street would be permanently closed to private vehicles by summer 2018.

Although there are worries the measures could lead to traffic jams over the holiday period, they will have the effect of boosting security around one of the Spanish capital's main shopping areas. Vehicles weighing over 3,500 kg are also barred from using the street.

Last year, a similar measure was put in place ahead of the traditional Jan. 6 "Three Kings" Parade in Madrid as a result of the lorry attack on the Berlin Christmas market which killed 12 people on Dec. 19 2016.