We were contacted by Giuliano Gavazzi from Italy recently. Salva I Ciclisti “Save Cyclists” (is a literal translation) are also riding on the 28th of April, in Rome!. While organising the cycle, they have had numerous tussles with the authorities – but now things seem set.
It is poignant that a movement to get people cycling again, and make the city more bike-friendly is happening in Italy. This is the land of the famed Giro d’Italia, and of great riders like Fausto Coppi. A recent book, discussing the race and Italian cycling, lamented that Italy is gradually losing its ranking in sport cycling – not enough people are cycling to a high enough level… the roads are too dangerous, crowded with cars.
Salva I Ciclisti now have the backing of the main and prestigious paper in Italy, the Corriere della Sera. This is a turnaround – it seems to have been the example of the Times campaign that has persuaded the paper of the need for change. Actually, the Deputy Editor of the paper apologised for the lack of commitment to the issue of safety of cyclists in the paper, and further, for the negative coverage of the issue. Out of small acorns… Here we have a town which is dominated by the car, where pedestrians dash across where they can, and where even drivers from other parts of Italy find it ‘challenging’. Even here, there are seeds of change. And not only in Rome. There have been a number of things organised recently in Milan as well.
But things are not only afoot in Italy. We are hearing rumours that something might be happening on the 28th in Paris too. This, we understand at the moment, might be a nocturnal ride. Watch this space for more information.