The huge influx of people into the streets of central Madrid during the Constitution Bridge, mostly to see the Christmas lights, exceeded all expectations. That is why the City Council of Madrid was forced to implement an extraordinary measure: the black level of public roads. This is the most restrictive level; Before there was red and orange.
The initiative, which depends on the operational commands of the Municipal Police, has only one goal and that is to prevent serious incidents that occur due to the crowd. “In general, if the influx of people in any area increases and to prevent their safety from being compromised, municipal agents may temporarily restrict access to the area until the danger disappears,” the council reported. .
Therefore, officers can prevent pedestrians from accessing pedestrian streets where there is more congestion. Traffic is closed until these areas begin to clear and people begin to leave them. Gran Vía, Callao, Carmen, Preciados and Puerta del Sol are ground zero for conditions.
Wednesday, the first holiday for the bridge, was the first day on which the black level button was pressed, although, of course, not forever. The operation and the level of ‘alert’ due to the influx of people are modular; In other words, it is decided by agents who are in place at all times according to the number of people on the streets of Madrid and it adapts every moment to the number of pedestrians present. On Wednesday, for example, street closures lasted less than an hour to guarantee safety and mobility.
The protocol also means that Carmen and Preciados will be one-way roads. If so, Preciados will be accessible only through Puerta del Sol, closing the path through Callao and diverting pedestrians through Calle del Carmen; Meanwhile, Calle del Carmen is only accessible through Callao, closing the access through Puerta del Sol and diverting pedestrians through Preciados. Once inside Preciados or Carmen streets, you can go to one or the other through the transversal streets.
In the case of Plaza de Celenque (Cortylandia), the flow of people will be transferred to other streets (Arenal or Mayor) and, in Calle de Postas, only access to Plaza Mayor from Calle Mayor will be possible.
Whenever security cannot be guaranteed, the Police may demand the closure of Madrid Metro stations and entrances. Sol station (both Metro and Cercanías) is usually the most affected. In fact, it has been ordered to be closed until the 9th (when the bridge ends) from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Device for today 8/12 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the request of @policiademadrid:
Sol station will remain closed. Trains stop to guarantee transfers
L5 trains do not stop at Gran Vía. The rest of the station will remain operational, including L1
— Madrid Metro (@metro_madrid) December 8, 2023
Road traffic may also suffer from changes and restrictions. The device considers the prohibition of driving on the A-5, along the Avenida de Portugal, and on the M-30 towards the center of Madrid in exceptional cases of traffic congestion. They may even extend to the Plaza de España area and damage the following areas:
– Gran Vía, from Plaza de España to the intersection with Alcalá Street.
– Calle de Atocha, from Carlos V roundabout to Plaza de la Provincia.
– Calle Mayor, in both directions, from Bailén to Puerta del Sol.
– Segovia Street between Ronda de Segovia and Puerta Cerrada.
– Calle de la Princesa, Alberto Aguilera and other perimeter streets of the Center.
– Center-Zone of Low Emissions of Special Protection (ZBEDEP).
Strengthening the police force
In order to avoid incidents, the Security and Emergency Area of the City Council of Madrid created a road safety plan that operates from November 23 and until January 7. This plan includes the black level, and allows control and regulatory measures for the circulation of pedestrian traffic and monitoring of the Center to be implemented in advance and on a scheduled basis.
It also imposes a minimum reinforcement of 450 municipal police officers per day, rising to 850 on busy days. The extension of the service hours of the mobility agents is planned, extending the service until 11 pm on days with a large public presence (on weekends and holidays, the Constitution on long weekends and the day before King’s Day, according to the forecast) and the device will strengthen 240 additional agents per day, which means a total of 366 agents throughout the campaign that will constantly monitor the 27 locations.
They are specially located at thirty points that are considered key to maintaining an optimal level of mobility in the city. These agents will also extend their service hours on the days with the largest influx of public on these dates. In addition, traffic and street conditions are monitored using drones.