The streets of Lisbon have been in a frenzy for several weeks, preparing for one the events that promises to bring more people to the city (and neighboring municipalities) within a short and concentrated period: from August 1 to August 6, the World Youth Day (WYD) will take place, along with the visit of Pope Francis. Lisbon will triple its population, with estimated visitors reaching 1.5 million people. And, of course, there will be consequences for the lives of Lisbon residents, as the city will be more restricted. Especially in traffic.
While it is true that there will be an enhancement of the public transport network, it is also true that life will be difficult for those who move around Lisbon – from parking lots where it will no longer be possible to park, to areas of the city where only residents and workers will be allowed to circulate, and other areas, such as Avenida da Liberdade or Baixa, where circulation will be entirely prohibited.
Here’s what to expect: [Note: The following text is not provided in the original request, but I’ll continue the translation for a comprehensive understanding.
Reinforcement of Transportation
- Carris buses will have an additional 1,250 services (providing 119 thousand more seats) during the week and 4,700 services (429 thousand more seats) during the weekend.
- CP/Fertagus trains will have 50 more services during the week (providing 90 thousand more seats) and 120 more services during the weekend (providing 170,000 more seats).
- Transtejo boats will have three more services during the week (providing 2 thousand more seats) and 50 more services during the weekend (providing 27 thousand more seats).
- The metro and surface metro will increase services by 320 during the week (providing 143 thousand more seats) and 390 during the weekend (providing 154 thousand more seats).
Closures and Relocation
- On August 1st, 3rd, and 4th, the metro stations at Avenida, Marquês de Pombal, Parque, and Restauradores will be closed.
- On August 5th and 6th, the train stations at Moscavide, Sacavém, Bobadela, and Santa Iria will be closed.
- From August 1st to 6th, the Carris Metropolitana terminal at Marquês de Pombal will be relocated to Rua Marquês Sá da Bandeira.
- Carris lines serving areas within the security perimeters or narrow streets will be suspended or altered.
- The Bica, Glória, and Lavra elevators will not be in operation on August 1st to 3rd and 6th.
WYD volunteers will be transported by road shuttles, with the support of Carris and Carris Metropolitana.
- Preparation works are underway to accommodate buses for central events in Alta de Lisboa (840 spaces) and Zona Norte ao Campo da Graça (1,000 spaces).
- 2,250 parking spaces have been identified at Terrapleno de Algés, and 14 additional locations can accommodate more than 1,900 spaces.
- Specific parking spaces have been identified for the event at Jamor (3,000 spaces), Loures (2,000 spaces), and Parque das Nações (400 spaces).
Traffic and Circulation
There will be restrictions on road circulation in two main areas of the city:
- On days 1, 3 and 4 of August:
- On the days 5 and 6:
- Specific restrictions apply, with no restrictions on vehicle entry.
- South of Avenida de Berna and all the way to the river, there will be significant restrictions on August 1st, 3rd, and 4th. Only residents, workers with a declaration from their employer, public transport, taxis, vehicles with parking permits, and tuk-tuks will be allowed to circulate within this area.
- Within the same southern area of Avenida de Berna, vehicles weighing over 3.5 tons can only perform loading and unloading operations between 24:00 and 07:00. Vehicles with lower weight can conduct such operations between 07:00 and 10:00 as well.
- In the smaller and less densely populated yellow perimeter of Parque das Nações, the same restrictions will be applied on August 5th and 6th. These days will include religious ceremonies attended by the Pope.
In these areas surrounding the two main events, there will be an “absolute restriction.” This restriction will apply to the zone around Campo da Graça, followed by Parque das Nações and Parque Eduardo VII – Avenida da Liberdade (except the sides), Marquês de Pombal, the inner roundabout, Castilho street, Joaquim António de Aguiar, Marquês da Fronteira, Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar, and Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, as well as Downtown, Restauradores, Rossio, and Praça do Comércio, all the way to Ribeira das Naus.
Within these areas, the Lisbon City Council announced that circulation will only be permitted in “specific situations” to be determined by the Public Security Police (PSP). Access for residents, workers, or traders is not guaranteed.
Only private bicycles and scooters allowed
In a small note in the document signed by the Municipal Mobility Department, the city council informed that “bicycles [including those from the public shared system in Lisbon – GIRA] and scooters will not be allowed to circulate within the perimeter of the Yellow Zone.”This prohibition applies to the same perimeter where residents, workers, and goods loading and unloading are allowed access with other vehicles, motorized or not.This discrimination has already been criticized by the Urban Mobility by Bicycle Association (MUBi) and has been the subject of comments on social media.In May, MUBi sent an email addressed to the mayor (Carlos Moedas) to the Vice President of the City Council of Lisbon and responsible for mobility, Filipe Anacoreta Correia, and to the WYD Foundation, responsible for coordinating the event. In the email, the association praised the promotion of walking during the event and suggested combining pedestrian travel with bicycle travel as a “sustainable, economical, and healthy way for people to get to the event.”The email also requested the implementation of bike lanes connecting the neighborhoods of Portela and Encarnação to Parque das Nações and the reinforcement of GIRA stations and bike parking in the eastern part of the city and around the event venue “to facilitate visitors’ use of bicycles to reach the event.”Late on last Wednesday afternoon, after news of the ban on bicycles in the Yellow Zones was reported, MUBi sent a new email expressing their “astonishment” at the prohibition proposed by the Lisbon City Council when almost all types of traffic, including tuk-tuks, are still allowed within the perimeter.According to the association, during the WYD “it should be clear that active mobility should be the priority mode of transportation and an obvious way to alleviate the use of public transportation, which will be tested to its capacity limit.”MUBi stated that “many volunteers planned to travel by bicycle during the JMJ, and with this announcement, they will have great difficulty in carrying out their work, as well as many people who usually travel by bicycle in Lisbon will face significant limitations in their daily commute.”According to the website Lisboa para Pessoas, private bicycles can still be used within the Yellow Zone, which is restricted to residents and workers.
It’s important for both residents and visitors to be aware of these changes and plan accordingly during the World Youth Day and the visit of Pope Francis to Lisbon.
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