The Via Laetana has always seemed to me, in a city full of grandiose modernist boulevards, a waste of potential. I would love, for example to see this street, which runs parallel to Les Rambles and down to the sea, converted into an exclusively pedestrian area, with a few green spots, lined with trees, dotted with a few fountains and a wide bike lane. I highly doubt this will ever come to pass, as the Via Laetana is one of the only ways for vehicular traffic to pass from the port area to the city centre. Barring the construction of a subterranean roadway, which is nearly impossible due to the number of archaelogoical treasures which lie buried in that area of the city, I fear the Laetana is doomed to carry on as a mini-motorway with sidewalks barely wide enough to accommodate bi-directional foot traffic.
Near the end of the Via Laetana, if you bear a left just before it spits the traffic out toward the sea, you can find a small street which curves off and leaves you at part of a project called the Galeria de la Magda. It’s an interactive street art project whose works have a variety of social messages, highly critical of the urban plague known as blind consumerism. It’s an entire corner filled with different art in different media, separated from passersby by an old aluminum guardrail. Definitely worth a glance up from our smartphone screens!