Civic monitoring report

Sent on 1/03/2022 | By back to the bike | @Backtothebikee


Our project “Back to the Bike” has been financed by the European Union through the ERDF (The European Regional Development Fund) which amounts to € 2.529.105,88. The code is RM 2.2.3.a1: the number 2 means that it is part of the “public services sustainability and urban mobility”, instead 2.2.3 concerns the action for the “slow mobility”. It is focused on the extension of the Roman cycle network through the renovation and realization of the existing network in order to increase the percentage of cycling from 0.6% to 4% around the city and up to 10% in the historic center: this is the target set by the administration along with the General Urban Traffic Plan (GUTP). The enhancement of bicycle mobility is one of the key points addressed in the PGTU, approved by resolution of the Capitoline Assembly n. 21 of 16/04/2015, which incorporates and integrates the previous Framework Plan for Cycling, approved by DAC (Capitoline Assembly Resolutions) n. 87 of 24/04/2012. As a whole, the TMP provides for the main bicycle network of 245 km and a "local" bicycle network of 564 km, compared to the current total of 150 km. The design of the cycle routes has been entrusted to Roma Servizi per la Mobilità S.r.l. (Rome Mobility Services), an in-house company of Roma Capitale.
This program foresees the creation of 7 cycle paths: Lungotevere left side until Porta Portese, Via delle Milizie and Viale Ostiense-Piazzale dei Cerchi have already been completed; Largo Troia Via Ostiense San Paolo-Piramide are going to be built; two have been re-evaluated because the roads are too busy. An information campaign for citizens will take place only when all the interventions are completed. From March 31st 2020 only some of these have been actually carried out.
Thanks to these operations the cyclists will have a safer place to ride their bikes; indeed, according to the article published after the pandemic emergency the construction of physically separated in-roadway bikeways was imposed to avoid the risk to overrun walkers’ paths. In this wise, it will also contribute to reduce the traffic jam and the CO2 level in the air as a way for the people to have the opportunity to enjoy better living conditions and be delighted by the amazing city in which they live.

What we found out


The project was supposed to begin on the 1st July 2020, but it has actually started on the 31st March 2020, this anticipation has given a great advantage timewise to its realisation considering the complexity of the intervention. Since this program included the creation of seven new cycle paths, not all of them have been completely approved: this is the reason why the starting date has been postponed to the 30th April 2022, for two of them have not been carried out yet.
Up until now only 2% of the total funding (€2,978,052.29 divided into €1,489,026 from the ERDF and €1,489,026 from the Rotation Fund), which amounts to €60,000, has been certified by the Management Authority; however, this does not mean that this is the only money the city has received: Rome has probably used more but it has not had the time to report it all.


Useful and effective

The project has not reached all its goals: only three out of the seven cycle paths have been completed, two are about to begin and the last two are still being evaluated. Since the 31st March 2020 the city has managed to build a cycle network along the left side of the Tiber from Via Rubattino up to Ponte Sublicio, one from Piazzale Ostiense to Via dei Cerchi and one along via delle Milizie. Two other cycle paths have been planned and are soon to be constructed: the first goes from Largo Toya to Lungotevere degli Artigiani and the other from Via Ostiense near Basilica San Paolo to the Piramide subway station. The last two are along Via Tiburtina, which is a very congested road, making it harder to plan a safe cycle path.
The citizens will have to wait until the whole project is complete to use their bike on the new routes, especially because no informative campaign has been launched yet, but we are sure that, as soon as it happens, there will be many advantages for everyone.


- It requires a large amount of money due to the expensive materials and machinery used;
- It takes a long time to be completed as, before building the network, it is necessary to carry out many checks on the road conditions and eventually modify its actual layout;
- If it is not properly built it could be a risk for people's safety and many accidents may occur. Precautions are needed!


- The extension of the bicycle network will reduce air pollution in a big metropolitan city such as Rome: using bike is the first step towards a sustainable mobility;
- Encouraging bicycle use will help lowering traffic congestion creating an efficient connection between different parts of the city and giving people the chance to reach their destination in a shorter time;
- It will contribute to the wellness of Roman citizens as they are pushed to do some physical activity instead of using vehicles;
- Bicycles are means of transport accessible to a wide range of ages;
- The cost of buying and maintaining a bike is around 1% of the cost of buying and maintaining a car; also bicycle parking is usually free, easily accessible, and more convenient than car parking;
- Bikes do fewer damages to road surfaces than cars.


Ever since we began our journey of monitoring the Roman cycle network's extension, we realised that all the possible risks need to be taken into consideration. The most obvious one is surely that the new cycle paths along pre-existing streets will curtail the roadways, limiting the space for vehicle circulation and causing more traffic; it could also result in safety issues, both for drivers and bikers. The Management Authority also has to examine the ground to make sure that its conditions are adequate for building the cycle path: Rome is quite marshy and, as a result, its soil is quite humid and weak, which can lead to the collapsing of the roads; moreover, the numerous pine trees can often damage the asphalt and create a danger for cyclists. Another problem is that, once the paths have completely been built, the work is not over: maintenance needs to be performed quite regularly for the cycle network to be safe. Lastly, the construction of cycle paths may take away some space from parking lots, which again could worsen traffic conditions.

Ideas and solutions

As we were monitoring the project and evaluating its risks, we also came up with some solutions: first of all, we think that the new cycle paths should be built within the sidewalk so that only a small space of the street is taken out; this would leave a larger roadway for vehicles and decrease traffic.
We also thought of some ideas to implement in the project: perhaps, places to rent bikes could be made available at the beginning of each cycle path; it is also recommended that slopes are illuminated so that people may see the road at night or during stormy and foggy days.
Our last proposal is that the Government should also finance the placement of rest areas and water fountains for hydration along the cycle paths.

Results and Impact of the monitoring

Dissemination of results

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Territorial events organised by the teams


  • attivismo civico-ambientale, spazioverde_futurosostenibile
  • associazioni, mobilitasostenibile_roma
  • tecnico sportivo del Comitato Sportivo Educativo Nazionale , tecnico sportivo del Comitato Sportivo Educativo Nazionale
  • ASD di ciclismo, BIKE ROMA CLUB
  • attivismo civico-ambientale, Rome Bike Friendly

Contacts with media outlets

  • Other

Contacts with public administration

We did not reach out to public administration

Description of the case

We tried to reach the authorities that work on this project, but unfortunately we did not succed. Therefore we cannot really tell if our research will have an impact or not. However, we were able to share it on social media, such as Instagram and Twitter, with many people that helped us in making others aware of this project. We hope that this will bring the issue to everybody's attention.

Investigation method

How was the information collected?

  • Web research
  • Interview with the Managing Authority of the Programme which financed the project
  • Interview with other types of people

In order to fully understand the project we are monitoring, we have organised a meeting with Teresa Capece (PON Metro/Metropolitan City NOP), engineer Gianpiero Di Muro (ACT mobility expert ), engineer Claudia Murgia (Metropolitan City NOP Managing Authority Office), and the general manager Paolo Esposito at the Agency for Territorial Cohesion (ACT).

Main questions

1. The project concerns the extension of the Rome cycle network, are they exclusively cycle paths or are they pedestrian cycle paths? How are they inserted into the urban context of the city's road system?
2. Which offices, planning and implementation departments of the Municipality of Rome are directly involved and responsible?

Main answers

1. The construction of both cycle and pedestrian cycle paths is planned. People travelling by bicycle are legally obliged to use a cycle-pedestrian path if one exists. In particular, Article 182 of the Road Traffic Act requires bicycles to use cycle paths if they exist. Cycle paths can be one-way, bidirectional, two-way; From the point of view of type, we can classify cycle paths as follows: proper cycle lanes - these are routes running parallel to roads open to vehicular traffic, but separated by kerbs or pavements; urban promiscuous cycle-pedestrian paths - paths without physical barriers separating the carriageway from the cycle path; bicycle lanes with optical separation or lane - these are portions of the carriageway indicated only by vertical and horizontal signs, without physical separations and reserved for the transit of bicycles; Bicycle lanes adjacent to the pavement - if the pavement is wide enough to allow two strips, the inner one for pedestrians and the outer one for cycles; bicycle and pedestrian paths or promiscuous paths - these are usually found in green areas to which motor vehicles are not allowed to access, and often also in bicycle touring routes. However, the route must be free of potholes and ditches, it must be well lit, well maintained, and with adequate horizontal and vertical road markings that can be recognised by all. The three main characteristics of cycle paths are visibility, recognisability and accessibility.
2. Responsibility for implementation lies with the Municipality of Rome - the Department of Mobility and Transport of Roma Capitale receiving funds from the PON Metro. The implementing entity is managing the works, it is an in-house, i.e. a company of the Municipality of Rome, for mobility services. One aspect to be taken into account is that in Rome, authorisations are needed from the superintendencies, in particular the archaeological superintendency of fine arts and landscape, which determines different administrative steps and consequently longer times.