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Not all roads lead to Rome

Some lead to the Spanish Mail’s headquarters

Illustration for article titled Not all roads lead to Rome
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I’ve only used one, the A6.

Elsewhere, but nearby, the few remains of a past administration.

Illustration for article titled Not all roads lead to Rome
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Madrid Central was an incredibly complicated congestion zone dependant on four kinds of emissions sticker, where the car was registered, and whether the car was going to be parked inside Madrid Central or not.

The policy was designed to limit the attractiveness of cars to commuters, move cars away from narrow roads and into large throughways, incentivize the purchase of EVs, and reduce the amount of traffic and pollutants inside the affected area.

It achieved this through a complicated ticketing scheme connected to a number of cameras and sensors.

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Illustration for article titled Not all roads lead to Rome

People that lived inside Madrid Central loved it; their cars were exempt, there was less traffic, more parking, and when they didn’t take their car out walking and cycling were safer.

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But Madrid Central was part of the undoing of the previous mayor, who was ousted by a conservative coalition, formed by uniting far-right fringes, and the suburban moderates last year. Ironically, she was removed during a famously disastrous year for the Spanish right.

The new mayor is chopping Madrid Central... It now resembles a sort of automotive don’t ask don’t tell, and some are angry about that. Madrid and Barcelona remain problematic in that regard, as both cities surpass the pollution limits the EU sets. To me, it’s the most tangible impact the new government has had... but other things have happened.

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Because of that thing No One Talks About, public plazas and buildings are littered with Spanish flags (which in my mind are notoriously ugly), honestly, it feels like I’m in America. Ironically, flags are in vogue right now... telling Catalonians to sod-off might be the only thing the liberals and the conservatives agree on.

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Previously City hall had a huge banner that read “refugees welcome”, it has been replaced by a huge Spanish flag.

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