“Hard-hit Milan may be leading the way in reimagining how transit and commuting patterns could change as cities emerge from coronavirus shutdowns” writes Feargus O’Sullivan for CityLab.
After the rate of coronavirus cases in Italy slowed down, city officials looked for ways to encourage change in the way people use transit. Crowded public transit can be a transmission hot spot for the spread of viruses such as Covid-19.
To offset the possibility of virus transmission, markings have been added to the floors of buses and metros indicating a safe distancing space for passengers. A passenger count system will be used to temporarily close stations if travelers exceed acceptable limits. The capacity of the metro system will be reduced from 1.4 million pre-pandemic rides daily to 400,000. And to make this possible, the normal crush of commuters at rush hour will be reduced by changing the entire schedule of the city’s population. Stores will be encouraged to remain open later and businesses will be encouraged to allow flexibility of working hours and working from home. Even school start and close times will be staggered.
Milan wants to reduce car use as well. Not only has the city been struggling with traffic problems but air pollution, amongst the worst in Europe pre-pandemic, has been linked to the severity of the coronavirus in the region. The Strade Aperte (Open Roads) plan will reclaim road space for cycling and walking with the intention of giving pedestrians more space for safety. Speed limits will be reduced in the city center.
Milan is quickly becoming a post-pandemic transportation testing ground and role model for cities around the globe.
Read the original article here.
Image by Giorgio Maria Zinno from Pixabay