Traffic

A strange new breed, the ‘agentes de la movilidad‘, have been filling major street junctions across the city since before Christmas. These arm-waving, flourescent-yellow non-cops are obviously Mayor Gallardon’s new plan to get this congested city on the move again. Good luck to him. The taxi drivers, the barometer of city transport issues, have no respect for them at all – ‘it hasn’t done any good whatsoever, waste of money’. Personally I think it’s just a way of freeing up a bit of police time, getting them off traffic duty, which can’t be a bad thing.

Perhaps the new agentes are helping a few more double-parked cars to get towed, but the whole city seems just as blocked up as ever. Hence my joy every morning when I get on my Scooter and weave my way to the front of the hooting masses. There is disquiet amongst the motorcycling community however, as it seems that a debate is afoot as to whether we should still be allowed to park on the pavement.

National law claims that this is illegal, and nowhere else in Spain is this allowed. So the Madrid council has produced a ‘municipal order’ saying that in fact it is OK, we can park on the pavement. The trouble is that national law wins over municipal orders, making it still illegal. Whatever the case may be, it seems that the agentes de movilidad have been told not to fine us for now, clearly meaning that the Madrid council sees itself as being above the law. Perhaps the Mayor also knows that if he revoked his municipal order he would have to find parking spaces for 160,000 pissed off motorbikers, one of whom recently claimed, ‘if they start fining us for that we’ll come out in mass protest and collapse the transport system….’

This reminds me of the taxi drivers dispute a couple of years ago. They threatened that if they were forced to obey speed limits and wear their seat-belts they would collapse the transport system by staying strictly within these lawful speed limits for a whole week, at which point, they argued, chaos would ensue. They would show us who’s who by not breaking the law for a while….

Is there anyone in Spain that doesn’t think they are above the law? Certainly not our Mayor or his beloved taxistas