Monday, January 31, 2011

Una domenica a piedi

'A Sunday on foot'

The normally busy Foro Buonaparte (in front of the Sforzesco Castle) on Sunday afternoon

Every so often the powers that be in Milan decide to have a traffic ban for one day to try and combat the smog. Except for certain categories of vehicles (hybrid or electric cars, taxis and public transport for example) the city of Milan was off-limits, with fines of up to 155 euro for those breaking the ban. I decided to go out for a walk around the city to see just how deserted it would be.

I started by getting the tram to Porta Venezia. I'd taken the tram before when the streets were nearly empty, during summer or at Christmas, even though I'd seen deserted Milan before, this was different. The streets were empty but my tram was fuller than I'd ever seen before! The various means of public transport were running on average 50% more often to cope with the extra amount of people. There was hardly any traffic but there was plenty of people around, it was very strange! I walked down Corso Buenos Aires - and of course did a bit of shopping! - before getting the metro into the city centre.

I was surprised at the amount of cars going down Corso Buenos Aires! I didn't see any police or anyone stopping people from driving around, and the same goes for the city centre. Maybe there was someone somewhere, but I didn't see anyone enforcing the ban at all. It's the typical Italian way of thinking - if you can bend/break rules and get away with it.....

In theory it's a good idea, but being on a Sunday, when most Milanese are out of the city, seems to be a little pointless. I know it'd cause no end of chaos if it'd be held on a weekday, but I unfortunately I don't see how a traffic ban on a Sunday would help things all that much. There's talk this morning about another 'domenica a piedi' next month, which, considering how bad the air quality in Milan has been recently, isn't a surprise.

1 comment:

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ah, well, the intention was good!