The plan to ban private traffic from the stretch of Via dei Fori Imperiali near the Colosseum has "accelerated" according to Rome's mayor Ignazio Marino who presented the draft proposal to Italy's culture minister Massimo Bray on 4 July.
The mayor, whose “pedestrianisation plan” of the Colosseum area was a cornerstone of his successful election bid, described the meeting at the culture ministry as a "critical success".
One important outcome of the talks was the decision to create a superintendency between the city and the ministry, “with the goal of making a joint programme”, to avoid potential vetoes and clashing opinions among the various bodies involved in the scheme. Marino has said on many occasions that the project is not just a question of traffic mobility, but culture in general.
The plan involves all private traffic being diverted away from the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, up Via Cavour and onto Via degli Annibaldi, with return traffic from S. Giovanni being routed up Via Merulana in the direction of S. Maria Maggiore.
However it appears that the city's mobility agency has a variety of options at its disposal to deal with the 1,200 cars that use Via dei Fori Imperiali every hour. The street will remain open to public buses and taxis which account for an estimated 60 vehicles per hour. The mayor has suggested 15 August as the project’s “dress rehearsal”, a period when the city’s traffic is significantly reduced.
The plan will be discussed further at a city conference on 8 July. In the meantime local residents will meet city transport councillor Guido Improta and technicians from Rome's mobility agency at 18.30 on 5 July at Largo Corrado Ricci, between Via Cavour and the Roman Forum, where they will be presented with the new traffic proposals for the area.
Separately, a number of the capital’s tour guides have informed Wanted in Rome about the increase of pickpockets along Via dei Fori Imperiali in recent weeks, in particular on the narrow stretch of pavement along the current Metro C works near the Colosseum.