Civic monitoring report
Realizzazione di una pista ciclabile sul lungomare urbano di Marsala

Sent on 13/03/2024 | By The Sunset On 2Wheels | @

What we found out

Project objectives

The project for the construction of the cycle path called in Italian 'REALIZZAZIONE DI UNA PISTA CICLABILE SUL LUNGOMARE URBANO DI MARSALA' is developed along an urban route that goes from the Lungomare Salinella through the old town centre to beyond the tourist harbour (almost 8 kilometres). An investment of about 2 million euro allocated under the 'Urban Agenda' programme, with a scenic route that has the Egadi Islands as its backdrop and overlooks important cultural sites, such as the Capo Boeo archaeological area, the Monument to the Thousand, and the historic Marsala Wine Cellars.
The construction of a bicycle path aims to improve and change the lifestyle of citizens considered, at times, sedentary, so it aims to improve the quality of life, but also gives a clear reference to sustainable mobility, the main objective of the monitored project. Cycling, as stated in the illustrative report produced by the Marsala Municipality's urban authority, not only helps reduce the emission of gases that are harmful to health, but also provides an alternative for home-work journeys and offers an opportunity for contact with nature and the environment. The programmer of this project is the Sicilian region;the beneficiary is the Municipality Marsala.

Foreseen activities

The project refers to the construction of an urban bike path that starting from the waterfront in order in the locality "Salinella" allows to reach the historic center of Marsala passing the main tourist and cultural attractions of the city. In particular, in the section relating to the Boeo waterfront, the Archaeological Museum, the Archaeological Park, and the "Monumeto ai Mille" are reached. Access to the historic center is provided by the passage near Porta Garibaldi. Racks will be placed at each of the main points of the bike path. This track is integrated with the one planned along SP 84 that connects the Florio waterfront with the lites on the SOUTH side and with the connection with the bike path that runs from Villa Genna along the Stagnone to the landing stages for Mozia.

Project origin

The project stems from the Department of Mobility Infrastructure and Transport publishing DDG 3023 on 13/10/2021, concerning Admission to funding for the Construction of bicycle path in the urban waterfront of Marsala under Action 4.6.4 "Development of infrastructure necessary for the use of low environmental impact means.


Every citizen, without any exception, could possibly take advantage of this project's outcomes standing by the fact that it assures concrete safety. In some cases, though, motorists may experience delays or changes in traffic patterns due to the allocation of road space for bike lanes. Businesses along routes with new bike lanes may see changes in customer access or parking availability. However, overall, bicycle lanes aim to promote safer and more sustainable transportation options for everyone.


Cycle paths are created to provide a safe and separate environment for cyclists, allowing them to move more safely and efficiently. They promote sustainable mobility, reduce air pollution and promote an active healthy lifestyle. In Marsala bike path are necessary and very useful for citizens who use them, for example the bike path of the Stagnone is an efficient and also one of the most gorgeus cycling routes in Italy. 7.6 km long, it crosses the suggestive landscape of the Saline and the pretty islets of the lagoon of the Stagnone.


From the OpenCoesione website, work on the construction of the bike path on the Marsala urban waterfront was supposed to begin on 03/31/2022 but the actual start was on 09/01/2023. The project was supposed to be completed on 09/30/2023 but to this day it is incomplete with numerous critical issues. The payments monitored and recorded are 56% of the payment sent for the construction of the cycle path.


The project of the bike path has not received appreciation from either the community or the experts, due to defects highlighted in its design and implementation. Although the initial objective was to provide a safe and accessible infrastructure for cyclists, the lane has been criticized for its insufficient width and lack of connectivity with other bike paths and points of interest in the city. Partial results of the project indicate that the usage of the lane has been below expectations, compromising its overall impact. It is evident that interventions are necessary to improve the quality and functionality of the bike path in order to maximize its benefit for the community and promote sustainable mobility.


Although the cycle path of Marsala had great potential at the start of the project, not everything went as planned. The weak points of the project we are monitoring are several, such as the lack of safety of the cyclists as well as the cars that find themselves traveling on a limited road, especially when cornering.
Another notable problem encountered is also the ineffectiveness of the paint used, in fact it is already fading in some areas, which makes it impossible for cyclists to even recognize it furthermore people consider it useless, in fact in the city of Marsala the use of bikes is not very common, so the track is often deserted.


One of the strong points regarding the cycle path project is the improvement of the city's air. In fact, by using cars less there would be an increase in clean air, which we would all benefit from. Another plus point are activities such as cycling which, especially in seaside cities such as Marsala, lead to an increase in tourism, a very important resource for our city. Furthermore, the cycle path offers the opportunity to admire natural landscapes and monuments.


Some factors that could be evaluated to assess future risks for a project monitored on the bike path are connected to extreme weather conditions that could damage the bike path or hinder monitoring efforts.
Over time, the bike path and its components may undergo natural deterioration, necessitating more frequent maintenance or replacements.

Ideas and solutions

To address the issues of the Marsala bike path, several solutions could be implemented. Increasing safety by installing protective barriers along the most dangerous sections could be beneficial. Another solution could involve actively engaging the local community in the management and maintenance of the path. Lastly, implementing measures to reduce the intrusion of unauthorized vehicles on the track could be advantageous.

Investigation method

How was the information collected?

  • Web research
  • Visit to the project's location, documented by pictures or videos
  • Interview with people responsible for the project's planning
  • Interview with the users and/or final beneficiaries of the intervention
  • Interview with other types of people
  • Interview with people responsible for the project's implementation
  • Interview with political leaders

During this period we interviewed:
- councilor Coppola, an integral part of the Public Works commission
- the surveyor Parrinello
- the engineer Putaggio who studied the project of the cycle path
- the municipal councilor R. Passalacqua
- citizens of Marsala

Main questions

Two are the questions that we asked to citizens and experts:
1) Would you agree to consider fostering a meaningful innovation and conducting an in-depth study aimed at improving the effectiveness and quality of the implementation of the current bicycle lane to ensure a safer and more functional environment for bicycle users?(citizens and experts who worked in the project)
2) What specific considerations do you have regarding the design of the bike lane?Are there any particular suggestions or concerns you would like to highlight regarding this infrastructure? (citizens and experts who worked in the project)

Main answers

1) Yes, agreed. It would be a very good idea to study and improve the strategies used to implement the bike lane
2) Since the streets are too narrow to hold two lanes and also a bike lane on both sides cars pass over the lane (which is useless in terms of safety for cyclists because it means continuing to walk between to cars) littering and erasing the lane underneath. In addition, the sudden narrowing of the lane creates quite a bit of inconvenience for people like me who drive a car and surprisingly find a small wall next to them narrowing the roadway.
2)Marsala's still unfinished and untested cycle path is already in a state of disrepair after the first rains and the passage of cars, due to the shoddy material used. It does not allow the visibility of the stripes and consequently puts both the cyclist and the passing pedestrian or runner at risk.