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Rome Among Worst Cities in Europe for Road Safety, Traffic and Pollution

| May 23, 2018


While it has been said that all roads lead to Rome, apparently the ancient city of Rome currently leads European capitals in traffic, pollution and hazardous road conditions. 

According to the recent rankings by Greenpeace, more people travel by car or scooter in Italy’s capital than in any other city that the environmental organization looked at, contributing to long traffic delays and poor air quality. Some 65 percent of all trips in Rome are made by personal motorized transport, compared to 37 percent in much larger London, 30 percent in Berlin or just under 16 percent in Paris.

Meanwhile fewer people cycle in Rome than anywhere else, according to the report: just 1 percent of trips were made by bike, in contrast to a whopping 32 percent in Amsterdam. And just 6 percent of journeys are made on foot in Rome, lower than anywhere else except Moscow (3 percent).

Public transport accounts for 29 percent of journeys, which though comparable to the figure in Berlin or Brussels is far outweighed in Rome by the number of people relying on their own vehicles. While Greenpeace praised the affordability of Rome’s public transport – on which a single journey costs just €1.50 – it pointed out that an hour’s parking is even cheaper, not to mention the fact that the city’s network of metro lines, buses and trams is neither extensive nor reliable.

The result is that Rome’s roads are more congested, dirtier and more dangerous. Traffic adds an extra 40 percent travel time to Romans’ journeys, Greenpeace calculates, while the city is over World Health Organization guidelines for safe levels of air pollution and risks serious damage to its inhabitants’ health and its historic buildings.

An even more immediate danger to Rome’s residents is venturing out on bike or foot: Rome’s roads were ranked the most hazardous for non-drivers, with 47 pedestrians and 25 cyclists killed in 2016. In the same year there were 110 crashes for every 10,000 bicycle journeys and 133 crashes for every 10,000 trips on foot.

Greenpeace recommends expanding Rome’s network of bike paths (currently at just 100, despite new bicycle share schemes and vast swathes of underutilized green space), as well as introducing a congestion charge similar to that already place in Milan, where drivers are charged €5 for access to the city centre on weekdays.

Category: General Update, News, Safety

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