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Escalator Installation Improves Mobility

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Residents of Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Spain, benefit from the town’s “Plan for the Improvement of Mobility and Accessibility for Pedestrians.”

The orographic city of Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Spain, is home to some 120,000 people, many of whom must travel upward through many hills to access their homes. A large portion of the city’s inhabitants are advanced in age and require improved transportation solutions throughout the city. In response to this demand, the town council initiated a project for ThyssenKrupp Elevadores España to install escalators and moving ramps in different areas of the city, in addition to one inclined elevator. The proposal, known as the “Plan for the Improvement of Mobility and Accessibility for Pedestrians,” took into consideration the different parts of the city, emphasizing areas with steep slopes. The project also aimed to improve the area’s urbanization.

In 2010, the plan was selected for the sixth edition European Prize for Public Urban Space and was included online for the European Archive of Public Urban Space, which included a selection of the best projects promoting the value of public spaces in Europe.

Project Details

The escalators and mechanical ramps provide more than 2 km of improved and accessible transportation paths throughout the city. In May 2010, ThyssenKrupp Elevadores completed the installation and opened 39 of the 41 escalators, which connect the Can Zam Metro Station (Line 9) with the Les Oliveres and Can Franquesa neighborhoods. In February 2011, the remaining two escalators were put into operation, completing the initial plan. In the Can Franquesa districts ThyssenKrupp Elevadores also installed an inclined elevator with 11 mechanical sections and a travel height of 115 m.

The escalators in the Les Oliveres neighborhood are subdivided into four sections, covering a travel height of 80 m, and a manual stairway was built alongside the escalator. In addition, gardens have been installed in the surrounding areas, street lighting has been improved, urban furniture has been installed, and pavement has been repaired. The escalators feature photoelectric barriers at the bottom of the balustrade to detect the passing of pedestrians along the trajectory of the mechanical sections. They also have a pedestrian weight counter on each section, and the information is sent to the ThyssenKrupp Control Centre, located in the city’s center.

The escalators are equipped with frequency controllers, lighting beneath the handrails, remote-control systems and camera display screens. The camera permits the ThyssenKrupp Control Centre to verify the operation of the escalators and respond remotely when necessary. In addition, traffic lights are installed at the beginning of each section, which inform passengers of the escalators’ state of operation (in service or stopped).

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