Metropolitan Cycling Network of Barcelona

As part of the implementation of the Mobility Master Plan of Barcelona Metropolitan Region (RMB) 2007-2012, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (ATM) of Barcelona commissioned in 2011 a proposal of metropolitan cycling network for daily mobility.

This proposal is expected to be one of the central themes of the new Mobility Master Plan 2013-2018 which processing is to begin in 2013, and hopes to have input from councils and relevant organizations of the region.

The study conducted by the Infrastructures and Mobility Consultancy (AIM) and Mobility VAIC team, and led by the Service of Mobilitiy of the ATM, has three objectives: 1) define a Metropolitan Cycling Network, 2) conduct an inventory of the current state of the routes and identify solutions for intercity sections which require priority action, and 3) define an implementation strategy of the network.

Definition of the cycling network

The definition of the network is based on two complementary analyzes. On one side a proposal of structural axes is made on the basis of the identification and the hierarchical classification of the relationships between the main hubs of mobilitiy, among which urban areas, public transportation stations and industrial parks are included. This proposal is determined to provide continuity solution of the network at the regional level. On the other hand an analysis of potential demand associated with daily mobility is conducted at the intermunicipal level.


These analyzes are combined to define a basic network of more than 550km, a secondary network of 346 km and a complementary network of 163 km to give continuity and to provide new opportunities for leisure cycling and cycle tourism, thus achieving planning over 1.000km itineraries in RMB.

Each axis has been specified on the basis of local existing planning tools (about 27 identified at the time of the study), proposals previously developed by some companies in the sector, the available information in the database of most popular tracks, and field work of the consultant team.

Inventory of the current state of the basic network

The study defines 15 types of design of the itinetaris that classified into four levels of cyclability, and they are used for the inventory of 550km of the basic network, 261km of which pass through the interurban field. Note that in all sections where there is currently no road or this is not practicable, we have analyzed an alternative route that could be temporarily marked (Figure corresponds to basic network inventory a part of the Vallès Occidental).

The study identifies that 38% of the basic network proposed is ciclable, 48% is usable and only 14% is not practicable or nonexistent, representing a total of 43km in the interurban areas and 34km in the urban areas.

implementation strategy

Finally, the study proposes an implementation strategy based on seven steps:

1. – Approval of the metropolitan cycling network in the context of regional planning instruments like the same Mobility Master Plan 2013-2018 of the RMB.

2. – Make signalling plan, preferably based on criteria of nodal signalling

3. – Making the inventory of the secondary cycling network

4. – Drafting and implementation of projects of the priority sections been identified

5. – Spreading the network status at the public level through various channels

6. – Track participation in real-time of the cycling network status

7. – Promote the development of complementary services, particularly those aimed at improving the intermodality