Cobblestones are to be removed from some of Romes main streets. The embankments along the Tiber and some of the roads going into Piazza Venezia, such as Via delle Botteghe Oscure, will be resurfaced with special sound-absorbent asphalt and the cobblestones reused in pedestrian areas of the historic centre. The cobbles in Piazza Venezia, which make the traffic-packed square extremely dangerous, will remain for historic reasons but will be taken up in order to level the surface before they are re-laid.
Cobbles are expensive to maintain and provide an unsuitable surface for modern vehicles. Buses bounce over them giving passengers a rough ride and when wet or oily the roads become extremely dangerous for both motorcyclists and cyclists.
Rome has set aside 21 million for repairs to the city roads before the end of September 2006. Many of them have not been touched since the millennium jubilee year in 2000, when the whole city was given a facelift, and they are now in need of extensive maintenance. In all, 93 streets in the city will undergo works, a total of 60 km; they will be resurfaced, have new pavements with ramps for wheelchair users, new road signs and guard-rails.