Rome roadworks coincide with back-to-school traffic.
Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri is under fire from motorists whose movement around the city has been slowed down significantly due to major infrastructure projects underway ahead of the Vatican's 2025 Jubilee Year.
The main cause of woe for Roman drivers is the roadworks in Piazza Pia, located between Castel Sant'Angelo and St Peter's, which is closed to traffic to allow for the construction of a new underpass.
This has led to traffic jams in the surrounding Prati district, an already congested area, hampered further with the reopening of schools after the summer.
The gridlock has prompted the city to revisit its mobility plan for the area, reorganising cycle lanes and removing parking spaces to free up extra lanes for traffic.
Gualtieri on Thursday pledged more traffic police on the ground and zero tolerance for double-parked cars, as well as stepping up checks on delivery drivers and those entitled to access the restricted traffic zone, news agency ANSA reported.
#Giubileo2025, il grande cantiere per la riqualificazione di Piazza Pia, nell'area tra Castel Sant'Angelo e via della Conciliazione, ha portato molte modiche alla viabilità. In questo video della nuova #WebTv INFORoMA troverete tutte le novità #RomaSiTrasforma pic.twitter.com/5SMAaKHvso
— Roma (@Roma) September 15, 2023
Piazza Pia is just one of many large-scale projects underway in the capital ahead of Jubilee 2025 - when extra millions of pilgrims and tourists are expected to arrive in Rome - all of which compound the capital's mobility difficulties.
The city is currently renovating the fire-damaged Ponte di Ferro, the bridge linking the Ostiense and Marconi districts, which will stay closed to traffic until autumn 2024.
Rome is also carrying out major maintenance works on its tram lines and subways, with work getting underway recently in the central Piazza Venezia on the Metro C station, a €700 million project set to take 10 years to complete.
A public transport strike scheduled for 18 September, the first Monday that all the city's schools are open again after the holidays, is likely to cause further traffic problems.
However there was some recent good news on Rome's transport front: residents aged 11 to 19 can avail of an annual travel pass - valid for the entire local public transport network - for just €50.
There has been a boom in requests, the mayor Roberto Gualtieri said on Friday, with around 45,000 young people obtaining the new travel pass since it became available a week ago.
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