Foto: ROME – Scooters and the New Green Revolution in Rome: a cat sits on an abandoned scooter at the ruins of the Largo Argentina;
in: RARA (early Feb. 2021).

ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA 2022. L’urbanistica del Comune di Roma all’inizio del XXI secolo; un fallimento dopo l’altro; in: Gli e-scooter avrebbero dovuto aggiustare i viaggi a Roma. Poi sono diventate “trappole mortali” e un turista americano ha recentemente lanciato uno scooter giù per la scalinata di Piazza di Spagna; in: CNN ROME, USA / testo in inglese (19 June 2022).

ROME – E-scooters were supposed to fix travel in Rome. Then they became ‘death traps’. CNN NEWS, USA (19 June 2022).

Rome (CNN) — Rome, the eternal city, has been invaded, conquered and pillaged countless times since its founding nearly 2,800 years ago. Each attack has left scars throughout the city, from the ruins of the Roman Forum to the cavern of the Circus Maximus where chariots once raced.

RARA 2022. La Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali mira a garantire l’accesso al proprio patrimonio storico-artistico / La realtà: nessuna informazione, spazzatura e venditori illegali nell'area degli scavi del Foro di Cesare in corso (03/06/2022).
ROME – Romans, Italians and international tourists are confronted with ever growing piles of trash in front of the ongoing excavations site at ancient ruins of the Forum of Caesar along the Via dei Fori Imperiali; in: RARA (late May 2022).

Modern degradation has also left citizens angry, fed up with what often feels like complacency in what is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The current invasion of the Italian capital comes from e-scooters — more than 14,000 of them — modern chariots that block sidewalks, unnerve drivers and kill.

Since rental scooters were introduced three years ago as an alternative to public transportation during the Covid pandemic, four people have been killed while riding them, according to Rome City Hall mobility councilman Eugenio Patane. The city’s emergency rooms treat at least one scooter-related major injury every three days, health authorities say.

And yet only 2% (around 270) of the foot scooters for rent are used on a daily basis.

Rome City Hall has given licenses to seven companies responsible for changing batteries, carrying out repairs, moving scooters to high-traffic areas and fishing them out of the city’s Tiber River.

RARA 2022. L'urbanistica del Comune di Roma all'inizio del XXI secolo; un fallimento dopo l'altro; in: "Gli e-scooter avrebbero dovuto aggiustare i viaggi a Roma"; in: CNN ROME, USA / testo in inglese (19 June 2022)
Foto: ROME – Giuliano Frittelli, head of the Italian Union for the Blind and Visually Impaired, navigates with his walking stick around a half a dozen scooters littering the sidewalk near his office in the city center, in: CNN / ROME (19 June 2022).

It’s the scooters that aren’t in use that are presenting the greatest challenge, especially to the disabled.

As Giuliano Frittelli, head of the Italian Union for the Blind and Visually Impaired, navigates with his walking stick around a half a dozen scooters littering the sidewalk near his office in the city center, he tells CNN that for people who don’t see, they are a death trap.


“The first problem is the wild parking,” Frittelli says as he taps his walking stick on the base of a scooter, explaining that their unusual shape also makes it easy for someone with impaired eyesight to trip over them.

He also says that because they are electric, they are silent, which is also a threat to those who cannot see.
“You don’t hear them so you cannot navigate around them,” Frittelli says, recalling an incident when a scooter passed a blind person so closely their startled seeing-eye dog jumped off the sidewalk, causing what he called “a series of frights” that luckily did not end in physical injury.

Frittelli’s group is working with Rome City Hall to make it mandatory that scooters are parked only in designated stalls. He also wants them adapted to produce a noise level of at least 30 decibels so it can serve as a warning of their approach.

RARA 2022. L'urbanistica del Comune di Roma all'inizio del XXI secolo; un fallimento dopo l'altro; in: "Gli e-scooter avrebbero dovuto aggiustare i viaggi a Roma"; in: CNN ROME, USA / testo in inglese (19 June 2022)
ROME – Romans, Italians and international tourists area confronted with ever growing piles of trash at the Pantheon – one of Rome’s and Italy’s most important Ancient & Italian National Monuments; in: RARA (late March 2022).

He says it is not just disabled people, including those in wheelchairs, who struggle to use the streets when the sidewalks are strewn with scooters. The elderly and parents pushing baby strollers are also affected.

Rome City Hall traffic councilman Eugenio Patanè agrees. He tells CNN that as of January 1, 2023, the city will renew the permission for just 9,000 scooters and reduce the number of companies allowed to rent them to three.

He says that the city also plans to require a percentage of the scooters to be placed in the suburbs and other areas so regular citizens can use them for what he refers to as “the last mile” which could take them from a subway stop to their homes or allow them to run quick errands without jumping in a car.

“They are a danger to the people, but they are also a problem for the city, for the beauty of the city,” Patanè says. “The center of the city is a UNESCO heritage site and is very fragile and we have to take care of it.”

RARA 2022. L'urbanistica del Comune di Roma all'inizio del XXI secolo; un fallimento dopo l'altro; in: "Gli e-scooter avrebbero dovuto aggiustare i viaggi a Roma"; in: CNN ROME, USA / testo in inglese (19 June 2022)
ROME – An American tourist throws a scooter down the Spanish steps in Rome causing $26,000 in damage to the marble steps; in:
CNN / ROME (19 June 2022).

In early June, two Americans were fined around $800 for throwing rental scooters down the Spanish Steps, causing about $26,000 worth of damage to the fragile marble. The incident was caught on security cameras and by passersby who saw one of the tourists throw the heavy metal scooter, capturing the sound of it crashing into the steps.

The e-scooters are primarily used by tourists and young people, Patanè says.

And the rules are often ignored, especially those that prohibit use on sidewalks and limit riders to one person. Renters are also supposed to be 18 years old. And the city cannot oblige the rental companies to provide helmets, meaning very few people wear them.
Police checks are infrequent and fines are rare for scooter users breaking the basic rules since it is difficult to enforce the no-sidewalk rule when the scooters are generally parked on the sidewalks.

They appear to be a hit with tourists though. “To ride around, especially the historic center where it’s almost impossible in a car, this is it,” Walter Hughes, from Dallas, Texas told CNN.

“For that [two- or three-mile radius] that you ride fast around, you cannot find a parking spot for a car, it’s too hot to walk for five hours, so this is it.”
Not everyone agrees.

Taxi drivers who have had to weave through pedestrians and mopeds for years say the e-scooters are a far bigger problem.

Eduardo Conticello has had many near-misses with his taxi and would like to see scooters abolished completely.

He tells CNN that they often stop short in front of him or fall over. “When I see them I drive very, very slowly,” he explains, which adds time to his journeys, meaning his passengers pay more because of them. “They are very dangerous.”

RARA 2022. Incendio al Tmb di Malagrotta, fiamme nell'impianto dei rifiuti. "Rischio diossina, asili chiusi nel raggio di 6 Km". Gualtieri: "Raccolta a rischio." Il Mess. (15-16/2022). Foto: Malagrotta da Garbatella @lasciuretta / Twt (15/06/2022).
ROME – The massive fire and the column of smoke at the Malagrotta trash facility south of Rome as seen from the modern Garbatella district of Rome; in: RARA (15 June 2022).

But life in the eternal city has never been particularly easy in its 2,800 years. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say. And its problems won’t be solved in one either.

Fonte / source:
— CNN ROME, USA / in inglese (19 June 2022).
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/rome-scooter-problems/index.html

Fonte / source, foto:
ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA 2021. “La mia Roma del futuro è green”. Così la sindaca della Capitale, Virginia Raggi, in una intervista esclusiva per TeleAmbiente. ITALPRESS / TISCALI LAZIO (12/03/2021). Foto: annsab69/ Instragram (14/02/2021). https://wp.me/pbMWvy-1eL

ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA 2022. La Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali mira a garantire l’accesso al proprio patrimonio storico-artistico da parte del più ampio pubblico. La realtà: nessuna informazione, spazzatura e venditori illegali nell’area degli scavi del Foro di Cesare in corso. Fine maggio e inizio giugno 2022. (03/06/2022). S.v., Roberto Gualtieri @gualtierieurope Sindaco di Roma & Miguel Gotor @GotorMiguel Assessore alla cultura di Roma / Twitter (06/2022). https://wp.me/pbMWvy-2I7

ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA 2022. Roberto Gualtieri, se ora non puoi ripulire il Pantheon di Roma , perché anche pianificare il Giubileo di Roma 2025 e Roma Expo 2030. Fonte: Virginia Raggi / Facebook & Corriere Della Sera (30/03/2022) & Foto di Gianluca Ferrara / Facebook (27/03/2022). Nota. Commento: I sindaci Francesco Rutelli a Roberto Gualtieri (1995-2022), il centro storico di Roma oggi è pieno di spazzatura come non mai (30/03/2022). https://wp.me/pbMWvy-2zf