Sunday, May 22

Villacís seeks to reconcile the neighbors with the terraces with serene, awnings and carpets that absorb noise

At this point, the Madrid City Council has already verified that maintaining the expansion of the terraces -initially exceptional due to the pandemic but now with the prospect of lasting- is taking over the neighbors. So with the aim of easing the conflict, the corporation has reactivated the Sustainable Leisure Commission this Friday, a forum to put hoteliers and residents to dialogue that had not met since 2017. After the meeting, the Government -represented by the deputy mayor , Begoña Villacís-, the businessmen and the president of the Regional Federation of Neighborhood Associations of Madrid (FRAVM) have appeared together in a gesture of harmony after months of many tensions.

Madrid adds 5,700 new terrace tables during the pandemic, half of them on parking lots

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The situation is so complex that the City Council has chosen to hire a mediator, selected by the Spanish association of mediators, to facilitate negotiations. Villacís has already advanced in the first session where the Government’s proposals will go: to put “serene silence” – staff who ask to lower the tone when it gets out of hand – and furniture that “absorbs noise”, such as awnings or carpets. The deputy mayor, who has made the management of the terraces her main achievement, has also advanced that the measures will be taken by zones. “You can not treat all sites equally. There are more stressed areas,” he said.

The elimination of tables has not been discussed. The measures that have come to light so far do not end the problem but rather try to mitigate it. The corporation has already committed to the hoteliers to allow the expansion of tables to be permanent by changing the Ordinance of Terraces.

From the FRAVM, Enrique Villalobos has warned that there is “certain hotel activity that exceeds by many behaviors that cause lack of rest” and has denounced that there are “areas with overconcentration of terraces.” “Some businessmen take shortcuts that are not appropriate to build a city,” said Javier Olmedo, president of the Live Night. The representative of the nightlife has admitted that the commission “generates a lot of expectations”. “We know that we can reach agreements and now we need them,” he assured. The bars and clubs were able to reopen their doors in Madrid on June 21.

The so-called ‘covid terraces’ have increased by 5,700 the tables deployed in the neighborhoods of Madrid. The City Council already had to take measures a few weeks ago, forcing the extended terraces to reduce the hours if they wanted to continue operating.

The Commission will be made up of two tables: the neighborhood rest table -where the issues of substance will be discussed- and the healthy leisure table, to offer “alternatives to the bottle”, explained the delegate of Territorial Coordination, Silvia Saavedra. Precisely Villacís, on this matter, has warned citizens to avoid crowds and Olmedo has criticized “illegal activities” in reference to the consumption of alcohol on public roads on the occasion of the Pride festivities.

In parallel, the Environment and Mobility area, led by Borja Carabante, is launching a campaign this Sunday to raise awareness about noise and reduce noise pollution. The beginning coincides with the final fireworks of the LGTBI Pride parties. The corporation assures that it will make a special deployment in the squares of Pedro Zerolo and Chueca, distributing informative material with tips to keep noise under control. The staff will also focus on neighboring areas such as Alonso Martínez, as well as Santa Engracia, Ponzano, Juan Pujol, 2 de Mayo or Huertas.