Cars v Colosseum: Rome mayor bans traffic from key sights
The very centre of Rome where there’s an endless frenzy of the traffic, the eternal rush hour in the Eternal City.
They say that all roads lead to Rome and it sometimes feels like that when you live here. Cars flood the Piazzas. Ancient Rome survived assaults by the barbarians but the modern city has struggled to cope with the invasion by the motorists.
Drivers used to race down through the heart of the historic centre, reducing the Colosseum to not much more than a roundabout. One of the world’s most famous buildings sitting in a torrent of traffic in all those fumes and vibrations.
But suddenly, there is a very different picture. A new calm has fallen on the ancient arena and it’s thanks to this man. Rome’s new mayor, he’s a cycling enthusiast himself, has just banished most traffic from the road and he plans to pedestrianize the area completely.
You know, I think we need to make a choice in a place like this where history is talking to us, we need to make a choice: ‘either cars or monument’ and my choice is ‘monument’.
But all that traffic diverted away from the Colosseum has to go somewhere. It’s being channeled down these side streets and the local residents don’t like it.
We agree with protecting the Colosseum and all the monuments but that can’t be done at our expense. Such a huge amount of traffic and cars and pollution will come to our area and will block everything. We fear for our health.
But the millions of tourists who are drawn to the Colosseum will love the pedestrianization plan. On their way to the place where the gladiators fought, they’ll no longer need to fight the traffic. From Alan Johnston, BBC News, Rome.Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23662713