About a year ago, Barcelona City Council deployed hundreds of New Jersey concrete blocks across the city streets – and also installed columns of this type. Svilana Spaces previously reserved for road traffic or parking lots have been designated for pedestrian walks or extensions of terraces for bars and restaurants. The reason given by the Board for this emergency response was twofold. On the health side. On the other hand, ecological. He then stated that it was convenient to reclaim the space so that pedestrians could go out into the street as soon as the first confinement was completed, and walk while keeping wise distances. It was also said that catering establishments, abused by the crisis, would have more space for citizens willing to leave after months of confinement. They were reasonable reasons. Something more than another mention with less focus: the city council’s desire to prioritize its actions to reduce traffic – the so-called tactical urbanization – and to do so while hiding behind the above-mentioned reasons.
New Jersey are concrete blocks that began to be used in the United States more than half a century ago. Its initial function was not to identify the stands, but to separate traffic flows on more or less fast roads. Its size, often more than a ton, contributed to this, enough to absorb shocks from cars, without moving and without jumping vehicles in the other lane. These prefabricated elements were also used to separate the public works areas. Or even besiege and defend military installations.
The city council should remove useless concrete blocks from the streets
In Barcelona it was used last year as a temporary resource for the celebration and protection of the aforementioned leisure spaces. But here they are, when it was just announced that it will not be necessary to wear masks on the street next week. Sometimes they were still there doing the job for which they were chosen, even knowing that they were heavy items, that they were ugly in the city with their bright yellow, and that they had other undesirable effects. But in many cases, they still really lacked any function. In pubs with intermittent opening, in other pubs that have already closed permanently or in places which for various reasons have been revealed to be useless for restoration, NJ continues where it was a year ago. Without the City Council removing them, and after announcing to proceed with its general uprising in 2022, without believing that they should be removed before those which are now creating problems and no longer solving any of them.
Consistory must correct this omission as soon as possible. Barcelona is a dense city with scarce spaces and everything has to be in its place. Except for what is already useless.