Sunday, September 9, 2012

Life as a pedestrian in Rome

I'm proud to call myself a hard core pedestrian. In all my years in Rome, I've never felt the need to own a car or a scooter (okay, maybe once or twice I've said to myself "Damn, wish I had a scooter right now" but I've never actually taken the plunge so it doesn't count), I manage to get by just fine with my monthly ATAC pass, my feet, an occasional taxi, and scooter rides from friends. To me, that's what city life should be about- being able to get around without the hassle of a car. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer Romans seem to agree with this. There's been a drastic increase in the number of cars in this city and the result is anything but pretty...

Ridiculously illegal parking jobs (see photo above) can be seen all over the city: cars parked on the crosswalk, on the sidewalk, on the curb, right in front of "No Parking" signs, etc. It makes life miserable for pedestrians, bikers, parents with strollers, and people in wheelchairs. I can't begin to count the numbers of times I've found myself literally trapped on the sidewalk, unable to get across the street because cars were parked back to front along the street and crosswalk. Luckily, I'm small so I can often squeeze my way through but not everybody can do this and more importantly NOBODY SHOULD HAVE TO DO THIS!

Since the traffic police don't seem to give a shit about doing their job, people have started to come together and create movements like:

Testaccio: Gli automobilisti indisciplinati


Incivile a Bordo- you can buy their NON-damaging stickers and place them on the windows of cars that are parked like assholes. I myself find it immensely rewarding!

It's reassuring to see the people fighting back. Rome needs more people to stand up and start making changes!


Middle Way said...

I like reading your stuff because sometimes I wonder if I'm just becoming a cantankerous bore, or am I correct in my fusterations.

We're all getting 'Trapped on a sidewalk' 3 times a week, and NO ONE'S SAYING ANYTHING!

well - at least you are
..., and you're funny too!

Romerican said...

Get yourself some stickers! I'm telling you, it's a great way to vent. I have a small army of friends who are always armed with stickers and are not afraid to use them... it makes the whole situation less annoying (somewhat).
There are lots of new movements in Rome now against these bad parkers, slowly but surely things will improve!

lapiubelladitutte said...

I totally agree with you!!!