City also plans changes to outdoor trading in Rome centre
A week-long experimental traffic ban is underway in the central Rome area known as the Tridente, the trident-shaped area centred around Via del Corso and spanning Piazza del Popolo, Piazza di Spagna and the river Tiber.
From 20 October two of the principal streets in the Tridente – Via Babuino and Via Ripetta – will become officially traffic free as part of Rome mayor Ignazio Marino's pedestrianisation plans for the capital.
The ban, which extends to the motorbikes and scooters of non-residents, has been met with opposition from many locals as well as traders who fear a loss in business. However Marino claims “85 per cent of residents” are in agreement with his moves to pedestrianise sections of the centre.
The whole off-limits area will now also include Via Ripetta, Passeggiata di Ripetta and the area between Via della Mercede and Via del Tritone.
The Tridente's new “A1” limited traffic zone (ZTL) will have the same timetable as the other zones in the centre: Monday to Friday 06.30-19.00 and Saturday from 10.00-19.00.
According to the plans the A1 area will have access points on Via Ripetta, Via Capo le Case, Via dei Pontifici and Salita di S. Sebastianello, monitored by traffic police until 7 January after which the ZTL becomes automated. Only residents with ZTL permits for the A1 section and drivers with other special categories will be granted access and parking in the area. Everybody else must go by foot or take public transport.
Meanwhile the city also plans to crack down on illegal outside-seating at restaurants and mobile market stalls in the centre, in particular tables or stalls that occupy parking spaces and pedestrian areas, according to proposals put forward by the capital's mobility councillor Guida Improta.
The proposals will bring forward the night-time ZTL to 21.00 (from 23.00) in the centre, Monti, Trastevere and Testaccio, as well as re-evaluate traffic laws affecting tourist buses.