Rome

Traffic to be banned on part of major Roman thoroughfare

August block will reduce road's private auto traffic 90%

Traffic to be banned on part of major Roman thoroughfare

Rome, July 5 - Blocking private vehicles from a stretch of Rome's sweeping Via dei Fori Imperiali that runs alongside the historic Roman Forum will slash traffic by 90%, the city's new mayor said Friday. "That seems a good result," said Ignazio Marino, who wants keep the thoroughfare for pedestrian and cyclist use only for the month of August. Previously, he had suggested the ban on traffic begin August 15. A meeting of municipal officials on the subject is set for Monday. Via dei Fori Imperiali was constructed by Mussolini between 1924 and 1932 directly through the Imperial Forums to link them, the nearby Roman Forum, and the Colosseum to his office in Palazzo Venezia just north of the Capitoline Hill. The street's heavy traffic has been blamed for causing damage to surrounding structures because of pollution and vibration over the decades. The ban plan would also keep the road open to cyclists such as Marino, who has made a habit of commuting to work by bike.

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