CYCLE·ROUTE ALAMEDA/PROVIDENCIA PROPOSAL FOR CIVIC-METROPOLITAN BOULEVARD: LANDSCAPE OF WATER, SHADE, AND MOBILITY
(1) Section 1, view west · Av. Pedro de Valdivia and Av. Providencia © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes / (2) Section 1, view west · Antonio Varas and Av. Providencia © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes / (3) Section 3, view south · Av. Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins and Av. Vicuña Mackenna © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes
In the context of the competition for a “New Alameda-Providencia, Master Plan,” we invite you to travel and imagine the bike route proposed by the winning plan Paseo Cívico-Metropolitano: Paisaje de Agua, Sombra y Movilidad (Civic-Metropolitan Boulevard: Landscape of Water, Shade, and Mobility).
As an exercise, we will try to imagine the route proposed by the competition’s winning project for a Conceptual Master Plan “Nueva Alameda Providencia” by Lyon-Bosch Architects together with Martic, IDOM Ingeniería y Consultoría, Groundlab Landscape Urbanism and Sergio Chiquetto, to consider what the sector looks like today and to visualize the opportunities and attributes that the future implementation of the bike route will provide.
Our 11.5 km tour begins, from east to west, where Av. Providencia meets Av. Tobalaba, continuing on to where Av. Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins crosses Av. Las Rejas. On the way we can see the route divided into six sections, according to its characteristics:
Section 1: From Av. Tobalaba to Balmaceda Park. Although between the streets of Antonio Varas and Manuel Montt, there is a 100 m cycle path on the south side of Providencia Avenue, most of this section is characterized by the absence of road infrastructure for bicycles. As a result, the route uses the road and the sidewalk as a surface.
Section 2: From the Parque de la Aviación (Aviation Park), located between Eliodoro Yáñez and the Arzobispo Bridge, to Baquedano. In this section the route uses the existing Parque Balmaceda bike path, where the space is shared between pedestrians and cyclists.
Section 3: From Baquedano to Teatinos the route uses the street and sidewalk, given the absence of particular space available and allowed for the cyclist.
Section 4: From Teatinos to Republic Ave. In this section, the route is made through the existing linear park between the south and north roads (on the median strip). Although there is no continuous cycle path, but only a demarcation at the pavement level, the breadth of the space provides enough distance to promote coexistence between pedestrians, cyclists and taxi drivers who can park in this area.
Section 5: From Republic Ave. to Estación Central. In this section, the cycle route has a width of approximately 2 m and, as in section 4, it is located on the median strip following a path accompanied by low vegetation and some trees, such as Chilean palms (Jubaea Chilensis) and plane trees (Platanus x acerifolia).
Section 6: From Estación Central to Ave. Las Rejas. In this section, the bike path continues on the median strip, however, there is a reduction in the number of trees providing shade and in some sections of the path the median strip decreases its width, making the path seem rather unsafe, given its proximity to cars and public transport.
Faced with the above scenario, the winning project proposes the layout of a network of cycle paths that would provide an environment of comfort and safety for the cyclist, which would improve the quality of the space and the experience of its users. Likewise, the winning proposal proposes the implementation of continuous cycle routes on both sides of the avenues crossed by establishing a system that, in addition to being connected with other bicycle routes − existing and planned − would form a system that is effective and collective at the neighborhood, community and city levels. (1).