The design activity of the Rome bike lane, known as "GRAB" (Rome’s Great Ring of Bikes) officially began on 21 September 2016, with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Graziano del Rio, and the Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi
The main goal of the bike lane is the strengthening and development of Rome's tourism and cultural offerings. MIT requires the project to achieve this goal by enhancing and unveiling a vast selection of urban spaces that would otherwise remain "invisible": from the historically valuable anthropized ones, to the "open" spaces as gardens, villas and parks.
The maximum interconnection between the existing bike lanes and GRAB's cycle network is provided to guarantee greater accessibility by tourist users and, the integration of infrastructure into the urban mobility system is also widespread.
The Rome bike lane is a complex project. The new infrastructure, throughout the city takes on different, but always recognizable characteristics, thanks to a visual identity project that will make the GRAB bike ring recognizable (from the Colosseum to the Terme di Caracalla, from via Appia Antica to viale Palmiro Togliatti, from Villa Ada to via Guido Reni up to via dei Fori Imperiali).
The bike lane means "expanding existing pedestrian spaces" in areas of important historical and archaeological interest. It runs through the center of Rome thanks to the introduction of new traffic rules and it goes safely within the “Quadraro Vecchio”new environmental waste disposal area. The bike lane remains roadside but in a safe, protected area that runs alongside the same road. With the construction of natural flooring, it will be suitable for the transit of a large number of users and; it guarantees the enjoyment of open spaces in the city even to those to whom this enjoyment is now excluded.
The Rome bike lane is not a ribbon that crosses the city but rather an open dialogue with Rome: it is a 45 kms long project, 17 kms of which transits along green areas (from Parco della Cafferella to Villa Gordiani, from Riserva Naturale dell’Aniene to Villa Ada), 9 kms along existing cycle infrastructures while the remaining 19 kms cover new routes to the (re) discovery of the city.
Download the information about the project on PUMS website.
The project includes a cycle track, about 3.6 km long, that connects Porta Pia with the existing bike route of Via dei Campi Flegrei, close to via Valdarno, which runs along the bight of the Aniene river. The route continues along the right-hand road of via Nomentana (with your back to the forecourt of Porta Pia) and it is mostly on the roadside, away from the main roadway, near the exit for Circonvallazione Nomentana. The route is located on the left side of the consular road, thanks to the project cycle crossing and, running along the Batteria Nomentana bridge, it then turns on Via Val d'Aosta and proceeds on via Valdarno, where it ends with the connection to the existing bike lane.
It is a two-way bike lane - as defined by d.M. 557/99. Only for a few short stretches (especially along the historical parks) the lane is instead being located on the sidewalk. The amplitude is 250 cm, as required by the legislation; and the bike lane on a road side, is separated from the vehicle lane by a prefabricated polymer kerb which can be laid without excavations by anchoring tiles to the road platform.
The design of the cycle lane was an opportunity to advance the enhancement and/or redevelopment of the area crossed by the lane. For example, at the Mausoleum of Tor di Quinto, a pavement has been planned with Sanpietrini (ancient roman rocks), and intervening on preventing further deterioration of the area, by the elimination of the “wherever car stops” in favour of a new pedestrian crossing, to allow access to the mausoleum area. Due to the existing schools and the redevelopment of the public space, timely interventions have been advanced along via Valdarno. These include: safer pedestrian crossings, insertion of optical speed slowers, reorganization of the car stops and the placement of bike lane.
In some places, the sidewalk has been reconfigured to access the bike lane by relocating some light poles nearer to the new sidewalk. The inclusion of the bike lane offered the possibility of preventing the removal of the streetlights which currently characterise the area of via Nomentana and the standard streetlights on the historical road.
With the insertion of the lane, re-alignment of the lighting poles was recovered, after being lost over time due to interventions of various kinds. The relocated streetlights are replaced with new style lighting units and, thanks to the support and collaboration with ACEA, the number of streetlights has been increased in order to ensure adequate lighting to the new infrastructure and the street itself. Finally, the presence of the plane trees along the cycle route has influenced the design choices. With the aim of limiting interference with the tree roots in the land, a new type of kerb has been identified, that does not require excavations for implementation and which offers great flexibility and speed of execution (prefabricated elements). The most interesting outcome is the possibility, offered by the construction of the bike lane, to rediscover the tree of Via Nomentana, at least close to the bike lane. The project involves the planting of 54 new trees along the side walk affected by the passage of the bike lane. It is both the restoration of plants that have been cut down because they are sick or new insertions, thus rebuilding the continuity of the arboreal row.
The main aim of the project is to ensure safe conditions for the movement of pedestrians and cyclists (who risk to their own safety in this section) involves the construction of a bike lane consisting of: separate, one -way lanes ; a reserved lane taken from the roadway with the vehicles travelling in same direction toward San Lorenzo; and a reserved lane constructed from the pavement towards the Esquilino.
The separation of the bike / running lanes minimizes the "hotspots" in the passage of bikes from the reserved lanes to the flow of other vehicles. Thus assuring the safety of cyclists during traffic entry and direction changes thanks to the existing pedestrian crossings and the newly built cycle crossings. The bike lane is 150 cm wide from the roadway, in accordance with the current regulations. To increase the safety of cyclists, a neutral zone of 50 cm has been flanked by the bike lane with a margin strip made of sound-type plastic thermocolate.
Optical slow-motion has also been planned along the roadway as well as installing retroreflective devices (“cat eyes”) at the neutral zone. Pedestrian traffic, is expected to be banned on the opposite side walk because it is only intended for bikes running towards Esquilino, and will be on the sidewalk adjacent to the road.
The project involves the reorganization of the existing parking lot on the right side - at the end of the tunnel – and it intends the continuation of the bike lane and pedestrian crossing, which is not safe at the moment. Pedestrian and bike lanes are interrupted by the entrance and exit of vehicles in the carpark. So inserting a bike lane along via Santa Bibiana is an opportunity to ensure the safety of pedestrians between the areas of San Lorenzo and Esquilino.
Towards Porta San Lorenzo, the expected release of a bike crossing near the parking lot and the construction of another bike lane identical to the one under the tunnel, will allow the cyclists to ride alongside the existing traffic island to the end, until the cyclist merge with motor vehicles. The cycle cross at Via di Santa Bibiana, towards San Lorenzo marks the start of a larger and more articulated cycle infrastructure project along via Tiburtina, now in draft and always organized by Roma Servizi per la Mobilità.
Work is on the way to build the Tuscolana bike lane which reconnects to both the route planned for the GRAB (inside the Quadraro Vecchio area) and the existing bike lane running along Fulvio Nobiliore. The latter bike lane, in the direction of Avenue Giulio Agricola, crosses via Lemonia and arrives at Parco Acquedotti, while on the other side, at Via Santi Romano – it connects to via Palmiro Togliatti.
The bike lane along Via Tuscolana (which will be 2.2 km long in each direction of travel, with a width of 170 cm) will be placed next to the side walk, separated from the parking lot by a protective curb. The platforms for the bus stops along the route will be renewed, separated from the sidewalk by the same bike lane and equipped with protective elements that go in the direction of the two pedestrian crossings (located at the two ends of the platform).
Roman cyclists have new racks to leave their bikes safely in front of the office, at the school, at the university or at the subway station. The first part of this work has been completed to equip the Capital with a widespread system of "parks" for two-wheel users. Roma Servizi per la Mobilità has recently completed the installation of the facilities in 186 sites identified by the Department of the Municipality of Rome. The list includes public offices, university campuses, schools and subway stops; all places chosen in a sustainable mobility key for encouraging the use of bicycles as the only means of transport to go to school or to work, or to reach the public transport net. The laying of the racks goes hand in hand with the construction of the new bike lanes that are taking shape along via Nomentana (where the structure is already largely completed) along via Tuscolana (the construction site is in progress) and on via Prenestina Street (where work will begin shortly).