The city of Madrid has made a historic mistake that will cost lives and harm the economic development and international projection of the city. The approval of the misnamed Sustainable Mobility Ordinance will be a false solution to a problem that José Luis Martínez Almeida himself created when he brought Madrid Central to the Courts. Not to mention the deterioration caused to a century-old institution such as the Madrid City Council. Because the support received is at least questionable and portrays both the person who gives it and the person who receives it.
Because not a single administration, not a single institution, has said that this is a good ordinance. All of them recognize that we are going backwards: the Ministry of Ecological Transition, the Ombudsman and even the Community of Madrid, nothing suspicious of leftism. As in the story The emperor’s new suit, it is Almeida who is naked. The rest of us just watch in disbelief.
It will never be an environmental advance to authorize 45,000 more cars inside the city, nor will it be possible to reduce pollution that kills more than 2,000 people in Madrid every year. If you shove the crap under the rug, you may fool visitors, but your home will never be clean.
And Madrid is not a district but 21. This ordinance also forgets the particular problems that are experienced in each of its 131 neighborhoods. Madrid has its invisible internal border on the M-30 and those of us who live on the other side are the ones who are largely forgotten by a mayor with a distracted gaze. Hopefully, he would show for Usera or Villaverde the interest he professes in national politics. And for this personalist career he chooses the path of contempt for the neighbors who trusted him, ignoring the fact that there is no better business card in politics than effective and close management. An example is the socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, embarked on the presidential race after having transformed her city based on 165 kilometers of bike lanes and pedestrianized large areas of the center and the banks of the Seine. But no, here the short dribble is preferred and the joke typical of someone who ignores the enormous responsibility of managing Madrid.
Based on the SWOT analysis, the pandemic has been a threat and a weakness, of course. The difference has been in those who have worked to build strengths and generate opportunities. European capitals have done it by transforming cities to combat air pollution through our day to day, how we move. In Madrid, nothing more representative of the level than to see how they try to sell us smoke to cover the smoke we breathe.
For this reason, with the cards on the table, betting on more cars instead of more health is a historical error that, unfortunately, all the people of Madrid will pay. We do not deserve so much irresponsibility, but it is what we have had: the worst mayor at the worst time.
Ignacio Benito is a councilor for the PSOE and spokesperson for training in the area of mobility at the Madrid City Council
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