An underground car park on the Pincio has been approved by city authorities. The car park will hold spaces for 726 cars on seven floors. However, only 10 per cent of spaces will be available for people looking for parking on an hourly basis. Some 70 per cent will be sold to residents and businesses, while the remaining 20 per cent will be rented out on a long-term basis. The hourly parking facilities will be open until 18.00 to those with a permit for the limited traffic zone (Ztl) and after 18.00 to everyone. Work is expected to begin by April 2007.
The project will provide Rome with a large, centrally located car park, and city mayor Walter Veltroni called the initiative a historic happening for Rome. Environmentalists such as the Comitato per la Ecomobilit a Roma e nel Lazio have criticized the project, saying that it will attract more private cars into the historic centre. City authorities argue that the car park is a first step towards one day pedestrianising the whole of the Tridente area. The capital is now beginning to conform to standards widespread in most of Europe, whereby large car parks are the keys to freeing historic centres from cars, it said in a statement.