Since Piazza del Duomo was changed to a pedestrian only street, there has been a bit of hype from the locals and residents who live historic center. As a person who usually rides her bike or walks everywhere, I felt that the change was good. Although I had forgotten about the people, unlike myself, that live within the city walls.
Started on June 24th, Via Tornabuoni, Via Por Santa Maria, Piazza Pitti and Piazza Santo Spirito will be traffic free. This is a HUGE change for the city since most of the bus traffic passes through Via Tornabuoni on its way to the SMN Station. Residents will not be allowed to drive into these streets during the day at all. Even taxis aren’t allowed to pass down them. This brings up a large problem for elderly and disabled residents who are unable to catch a taxi home from wherever they are in the city. But as Mayor Renzi indicated on June 24th, he said that, ‘the disabled will be able to get to their home with no problem.’ See the video here for the full interview: Il Reporter
These new pedestrian streets won’t be clear of chaos. There will be many people in these streets now. Full of tourists, tour groups and don’t forget my clan, cyclists. Cyclists have taken over the center for the most part since pedestrian piazze have become more prominent. I find that is has become a problem for me to travel with my bike into the center. Which is fine, because I leave my bike on Via Cavour and stroll into the center at ease.
As Mayor Renzi is trying to make the city more livable, perhaps he is only thinking on one side of the coin. I think people sometimes, like myself, forget about the people who have lived in this ancient city their whole lives. Not knowing anything different and have experienced this city as a local. Seeing changes as big as this becomes a burden to them. Pretty soon I think many people will be forced to leave the city center just to be able to move more freely. Then what will be left? Apartment rentals for tourists and students, I’m guessing. The heart of Florence will be swept away with a new way of life.
The buses that will be changing are numbers 6, 11, 22 and 36. The electric buses, C1 and D, will be re-routed a bit as well. But these electric buses will be the most prominent buses that run through the city. To check out the new routes of these buses check out ATAF.
Change is good, but alas this will be one of the biggest changes for Florence in some time. But residents, locals and tourists alike will have to manage and shift their schedules a bit to get into and out of the city with ease.