Time for a New Bicicletta

Italians love their cars, but the government is determined to try to persuade them to adopt a more ecological (and healthy) mode of transport.

Italy may soon see fewer cars and more bicycles on its roads thanks to a new initiative that offers a substantial incentive to anyone wanting to buy a bicycle or e-scooter. It's part of the country’s €55 billion recovery plan designed to boost Italy’s economy and entails offering €500 ($600) to anyone living in cities of more than 50,000 inhabitants and wishing to purchase two wheel transport.

Shaken by the experience of 'you know what', many Italians (along with others around the world) have understandably expressed reluctance to use public transport as normal life slowly resumes.

The new subsidy is accompanied by a broader initiative to expand bicycle lanes throughout Italian cities in an effort to fend off a resurgence of car use. Rome, for instance, is expected to see 150km of new cycling paths by September, while Milan - in a project called "Strade Aperte" (or Open Roads) - has been switching 35km of urban streets to temporary bicycle lanes and widened pavements for pedestrians. Hopefully, these will become permanent, once residents realize how helpful they are.

Change can happen quickly, however, especially when a country has emerged from a traumatic event. Rome wasn't built in a day, but it did burn in nine, so there's really no telling what's possible.

Original source: treehugger.com