Pedestrianisation of Rome's Monti opposed by residents

Major traffic changes proposed for Monti district in central Rome.

A plan to reduce drastically the amount of traffic in the central Rome district of Monti faces strong opposition from local residents.

The proposal has been raised by the city's mobility commission, whose president Enrico Stefàno belongs to the anti-establishment Movimento 5 Stelle of the city's mayor Virginia Raggi.

Under Stefàno's radical plan, the Monti district would be closed off in a similiar way to Rome's Tridente area, with an “M1” limited traffic zone (ZTL) granting access only to cars driven by residents and certain other vehicle categories.

The plan would see the pedestrianisation of Via Urbana, Piazza della Suburra, Via Leonina and Via Madonna dei Monti.

In addition, the introduction of two-way traffic on Via Panisperna would result in the loss of 76 parking spaces, 70 of which would be reassigned for exclusive use by Monti residents on Via Milano and Via Cavour.

During a heated public meeting to present the plan, Stefàno attempted to appease his audience of irate Monti residents by announcing the return of the mini electric buses that served the area until recently.

Stefàno says the plan is "not to transform the centre into a 'lunapark' but to conserve it for residents, craftspeople and historic workshops." However the proposal has been blasted by opposition politicians such as Alessandro Onorato, from the civic list of entrepreneur Alfio Marchini, who described it as "madness without an overall vision on mobility."

The plan, which includes enlarged pavement space on Via dei Serpenti, would cost €600,000.