From Coppi to Bartali, passing through Moser, Saronni, Pantani, Nibali and already down to Aru …. the Italians are a people of cyclists. Or rather, fans of the Giro d’Italia, of imaginary pedellers (as Brera called them). Cycling to work: an almost unpopular proposal. There is an atavistic refusal. Perhaps the memory of the thousands of proletarian bikes hanging on the racks outside the large factories is annoying. Neorealist film images that must come out of our imagination. Yes, because among what the pandemic seems to want to leave there is a return of the velocipede as a vehicle for getting around the city. Also from the suburbs to the center (not only in the ZTL).
The indication, strong, comes directly from the Government which with the Relaunch decree (here the full text; the article mentioned in 229) pushes because the Italians pedal with joy and vigor. On the one hand there are interesting bonus for the purchase of vehicles with low environmental impact (bikeof course, but also electric scooters and segways: here is the article that explains how to get them), on the other hand the decree also affects our obsolete Traffic laws (in force since 1993) making it easier for municipalities to create lanes reserved for bikes (and similar). The hypothesis on which the idea of facilitating the purchase and use of bicycles, scooters, etc. is based is that of effectively combating pollution. With social distancing, for example, in Milan, it is certain that the public transport network will not be able to transport all the workers who arrived in the city every morning in the ante-covid era.
It has been calculated that at least one million commuters will not find a place in the subway cars. And to prevent this million people (plus others) from taking the car, then it is better to encourage the use of an individual vehicle that guarantees safety, but that pollutes little and takes up little space. So here is the idea of pushing without if and without but on … pedals. And the simplest tools to encourage this virtuous conversion (also from a physical point of view) are two, which seem trivial, but seem the keystone of the decision. On the one hand, the remodulation of the road space is allowed (with a finally clear regulation), that is, they can draw the corridors for bikes on the asphalt, moving the parking lots towards the center of the road and reducing (nominally) the number of lanes intended for vehicular traffic.
We have nominally said why in many streets, even important ones, the bad habit of double-row parking has for years actually narrowed the roadway.
The second provision concerns the possibility of creating the advanced home or an exclusive space for fragile vehicles (bikes and the like) that they can be put on pole position in front of the cars and under the traffic lights. So, broke, cyclists, scooters and so on will be able to shoot before the cars and will be clearly visible and motorists will not risk overwhelming them.
Well, these measures (which among other things are low-priced because the cost is limited to that of the paint for the strips to be painted on the ground) should be the trigger for a true and convinced green revolution. Of course, some perplexities remain. On the one hand, the need to have well-paved roads without dangerous chasms. On the other hand, cycling is a perfect vehicle for the Italian cities of the Po Valley. But in Perugia, in Catanzaro, in Genoa, in Rome, the use of the bike is not easy … if not for expert climbers. Going to Genoa from Piazza Corvetto to the Circonvallazione a Monte a bit like facing a little Mortirolo … every time you go home!
May 20, 2020 (change May 21, 2020 | 10:47)
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