We all know that Rome is synonymous with chaos when it comes to traffic and parking. For the most part, Romans and visitors have just accepted this as “the way it is”, because historically, enforcement has been seen as non-existent to intermittent at best.
According to last week’s story on Mashable, the local polizia have enlisted a new weapon in the war on illegal parking: Twitter. Citizens of Roma are being encouraged to dob in those illegally parked cars (and their owners) via a dedicated Twitter account: @PLRomaCapitale. After only a month on air, they have received more than 1,100 reports, and responded to more than 740 alerts. The Twitter line is manned from 9 to 6 each weekday, with the police aiming to provide updates via twitter after they have responded, usually within a few hours.
Of course, timing is everything, and delays in responding have meant some of the rogue parkers have managed to vacate in time to avoid a fine. Even so, the initiative represents a major “cultural shift” according to the new head of the police, Raffaele Clemente.
Our Managing Partner, Cristina Lynn has just returned from a trip to Palermo, Sicily. Although this new Twitter system could be extended all the way down the Italian peninsula, it does seem a shame, as somehow the “live and let live” approach generally adopted across Italian cities with regards to parking seems to work quite well. For all the lack of rules and enforcement, there is little to no “road rage” over there, something which our local population could learn from….