The Strade Aperte plan includes temporary bike lanes and speed limits of 30 km / h to reduce car use and tackle pollution and climate change.
Milan has one of the most ambitious plans in Europe to promote and improve community relations between urban, cyclist and pedestrian traffic, in response to the coronavirus crisis.
This Italian city, as well as the whole Lombardy region, are among the most polluted in Europe, and one of the main sources affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Confinement is associated with motorized traffic reduction by 30-75%, resulting in downsizing air pollution. In response to the de-escalation process and with the goal to avoid new outbreaks, they are aimed at preventing a resurgence of passenger car use in Milan.
As residents return to work and avoid public transport, it is very likely that the use of private transport will increase substantially according to social distance regulations.
Thus, transformations in city structuring are promoted, improving 35 km of streets during the summer months, with a fast and experimental expanding network throughout the city, creating exclusive spaces for the benefit of bicycle transport and pedestrians, once the restrictions are gradually lifted by Covid-19.
The Strade Aperte plan includes temporary low cost cycle lanes, new and widened sidewalks, 30 km/h speed limits and streets for pedestrians and cyclists are priority. Solutions that reduce car use and promote less polluting options.
Marco Granelli, deputy mayor of Milan, said:“We have worked for years to reduce car use. When everyone drives a car, there is no room for people, no room to move, no room for business activities outside the shops“.
And adds “Of course we want to reopen the economy, but we think we should do it in a different way. We believe that we need to re-imagine Milan in a new light and changed situation. We must be prepared; It’s so important to contribute even a part of the economy, to support bars, artisans and restaurants. When all is over, cities that still envision such an economy will certainly have an advantage and Milan is eager to belong to that category. “
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk the streets again and make sure they are result-oriented to achieve the goal: not just moving cars from point A to point B as quickly as possible, but in a safe way for everyone.
Pierfrancesco Maran, another deputy mayor of Milan, said: “We have to accept the new normal for months or maybe a year, creating excellent conditions to make this new normal possible for everyone. ” “I believe that next month in Milan, Italy, Europe, we will decide part of our future for the next decade. We used to have plans for 2030; now we call the new stage, 2020. Instead of thinking about the future, we should think about the present“.
Cities that are more likely to adapt to the consumption of less polluting means of transport, or without pollution such as bicycles, will enjoy less pollution, more sustainable cities and healthier citizens. Join the change? Join Cycling Friendly mobility! #WeRideAgainstClimateChange