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Equity & Liveability
The equity problem was solved in Rome by the City Council, that decided with some Council Act who is permitted to access the zone and what is the right tariff for the allowed specific category. In Rome such discussion isn’t easy, due to the willing of reducing the access in the central area to an always less number of private cars. As a consequence, the equity issue has been in a way overborne by the will to increase the cost of the “year permit” for the allowed categories, excluding the public transport and the disabled people.
The establishment of new access gates and the extension of the access control system to the Trastevere and Testaccio districts and the Villa Borghese park, mean that the whole interconnected central area of Rome is now covered, creating the most extended access control system in Europe.The results expected for these implementations were positive impacts both for transport and environment. What is unexpected is the modified approach of people towards their city, in fact in the process of “participated democracy” before the definitive approval of the plan, the pedestrian mode has been privileged especially in the city Centre, introducing for the first time the concept of “environmental island”, where the maximum speed will be limited to 30 km/h and the bicycle mode will be promoted. Now, a number of pedestrian areas have been established in the city centre, with the large TRIDENTE zone closed from 10 am to 8 pm. It is now possible, at least in some hours of the day, to stroll around the whole city centre without the presence of private traffic, except at some crossings.
A relevant issue is that of the increasing traffic congestion due to the high number of two-wheelers. The current road pricing scheme has exacerbated the problem. In order to tackle the phenomenon, Rome assessed the Best Available Technology (BAT) to detect two-wheelers access but the conclusion was to limit access only on the basis of emission criteria (Euro 0 two-wheelers are not allowed to enter the Rail Ring area, and some restriction are also applied to Euro 1 two-wheelers).
On the other hand, road safety problem is increasing. Motorcycles circulating in Rome are 360,000 (55,000 pre-Euro) and mopeds 155,000 (70,000 pre-Euro). Within the city centre it can be estimated a volume of circulating two-wheelers equal to 250,000.
The powered two-wheelers have positive aspects, like having the possibility to access any city zone and parking without problems. On the other way round there are more driving risks, they cause pollution and noise and they often improperly use the public space. As a result, during LTZ restriction period, the number of circulating two-wheelers is higher than of four-wheelers.
Results in terms of road safety show that the ratio between the number of powered two wheels accidents (PTW) and total accidents has increased during the last years.
The improvement of PTW road safety can be achieved not with the implementation of road pricing schemes for two-wheelers. Nevertheless is necessary to create a “Motorbikes Road Safety Working Group” within the Municipalities in order to have a better comprehension of motorbike accidents (reconstruction of accidents dynamics, causes, drivers behaviour); to develop different actions for reducing “Risk Spots” by removing holes and glittering stones from the asphalt; to envisage a better education and training courses for drivers, to use awareness campaigns and Urban Police road safety campaigns, as well as the multiplier effect of the networks like IMPACTS, that has a dedicated motorbike working group (Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Geneva). Last but not the least, it has to be mentioned the so-called eSUM (European Safer Urban Motorcycling) project, co-financed by DG TREN, that should permit a constant reduction in PTW accidents achieved by addressing PTW safety with an integrated European approach. The cooperation is expected to be performed between Cities (Barcelona, Paris, London, Rome) and Industries (BMW, Piaggio, ACEM). eSUM best practices will then be transferred to cities across Europe. In the , the time series of PTW accidents and fatalities in the mentioned European cities (including Rome) are shown.
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