January 23, 2021

a new boulevard, a bike path and “works of art”


The Madrid City Council has presented its urban plan to transform the surroundings of López de Hoyos after the dismantling of the elevated bridge. A new boulevard, a segregated bike lane, another for buses, trees and “outdoor works of art” will rest on the grave of the ‘scalextric’, an archaic infrastructure built in the 60s to facilitate the rapid transit of cars through of the city that had to be demolished urgently in summer due to serious damage to the structure. The execution period is nine months and the budget, 10.5 million euros.

The Madrid of the 60s returns to the surface in López de Hoyos with the end of the 'scalextric'

The Madrid of the 60s returns to the surface in López de Hoyos with the end of the ‘scalextric’

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The scalextric it was one of the three developmental infrastructures that were still operating in the capital. There were six in the entire city that have been dismantled over the years. This case, however, is an exception because for the first time the disappearance of the bridge has not been saved with the creation of a tunnel, as happened in Atocha, Cuatro Caminos or Santa María de la Cabeza. On foot, the elevated passes of Raimundo Fernández-Villaverde and Doctor Esquerdo continue.

According to the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, the urban reform will allow the pedestrian to gain “20% more space”, although the car will continue to have a notable presence with three lanes in each direction on Francisco Silvela Street. The remodeling, with which the City Council aims to “improve environmental and landscape quality”, revolves around the recovery of the boulevard inspired by the one that existed in the 19th century. The López de Hoyos roundabout will have landscaped areas and “sidewalks” with “new furniture”.

The plan includes the planting of 300 trees in the central median of Francisco Silvela and Joaquín Costa, in the roundabout and in another section of Príncipe de Vergara street that will also be intervened, in addition to the installation of new zebra crossings that facilitate transit between one side and the other. The two segregated bike lanes -one in each direction- will be located between the sidewalk and the bus lane, protected by two bands of hedges, occupying an intermediate space between the level of the sidewalk and that of the road.

The councilor considers that “the completely unforeseen situation” that caused the collapse of the elevated bridge, in operation for 51 years, “has become an opportunity” to “turn the area into the emblem of what the post-COVID city should be. “The Culture area, on the other hand, wants to install an outdoor art gallery in the area as part of the urban reform. The portfolio led by Andrea Levy ensures that during 2021 it will design the initiative together with the area of Works and Equipment and will select the works.

The space between the stately streets of Francisco Silvela and Joaquín Costa, dwarfed and drowned by the fumes from the exhaust pipes, emerged clear with the disappearance of the overpass. Around there are hundreds of neighbors who have spent half a decade watching cars pass by their windows.

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