Estación Constitución and its adjacent plaza in Buenos Aires host more than a million pedestrians a day. As the city’s busiest transportation hub, the station connects 34 bus lines, 7 commuter trains and the Subte Metro, Line C. Along with Estación Retiro, another major transportation hub, Estación Constitución recently underwent a series of renovations to make the 2 stations and their surrounding areas safer and more accessible for pedestrians and non-motorized transit.
The project, completed over 8 months, has incorporated improvements to several modes of sustainable transportation, including sidewalks, bikes, and buses. Most prominently, several intersections around both Estación Constitución and Estación Retiro received pedestrian safety upgrades, such as clearer crosswalks, expanded pedestrian islands, and better signage. Planners hope this will reduce the frequency of accidents at these busy intersections, which injured 96 people and killed 3 over a 2 year period. Additional components of the project include installing more bike parking, planting trees and bushes, and redesigning several roadside bus stations for increased accessibility. Taken together, these improvements will prioritize people and reinvigorate street life in the areas.
At the intersection of Av. Brazil and Av. Hornos, the pedestrian island was extended to improve safety.
The project was influenced by a workshop on pedestrian safety in Buenos Aires, run by ITDP in May 2012 along with the World Bank, Nelson Nygaard and local city officials. After evaluating several key intersections around Estación Constitution, ITDP staff discussed urban design and transportation policy, helping to define and guide the project. The group identified concerns, ranging from a lack of signals and signage to complex traffic patterns, and recommended many of the crosswalks, pedestrian islands, and sidewalk improvements that the city ultimately included in the recently executed plan.
Holistic projects such as this one, which address pedestrian issues, incorporate non-motorized transit, and improve public transportation, reinforce a growing culture of sustainable transportation in Buenos Aires. By strengthening the city’s livability and expanding transit options, Buenos Aires continues to make the city a better place for its citizens.