“The objective is to improve the safety of the Venetian canals,” said the Councillor for Mobility of the city, Ugo Bergamo, in a statement to the press.
The event giving rise to these changes was the accident that occurred last August in which a German tourist died after crashing a gondola and a “vaporetto” -diesel barge of public transport – on the Grand Canal, at the height of the bridge Rialto precisely the narrowest point of the channel.
Joachim Reinhard Vogel, criminologist 50, died from injuries sustained while trying to make a shield for 3 year old daughter, with whom he was travelling with his wife and two other children in the stricken gondola, a considerably smaller than the “vaporetto”.
According to the local Town Hall, on the site of the deadly event pass along ten hours more than 1,600 boats, 700 water taxis and 200 gondolas.
That’s why the City Council has announced that one of the immediate measures will be to prohibit freight barge traffic from 10.30 in the morning, in order to relieve existing congestion at peak boats.
Similarly, taxis in Venice, which perform their duties by the waters, suffer restrictions during peak increased congestion and may only serve those having ordinary public service license and not those with private status also have permission to transport people.
Halve the traffic on the Grand Canal in Venice
“We have no choice, we can not pretend that the problem does not exist. Hope to reduce by 50% the water traffic in the central point of the Grand Canal,” said the Councillor for Mobility.
For its part, the installation of GPS devices on the shelves not only serve for the “pope” as it is known-Gondoliers, can easily plan routes, but will join the action of the forty cameras installed to along channels and enable fine those who commit offences.
It so happens that in the case of the accident that killed the German tourist, the gondolier tested positive for cocaine and hashish, which also opened the debate on the need for these professionals undergo regular checks Drug and Alcohol Testing.
As for the placement of plates on the outside of the shelves, its implementation “will not be immediate, but gradual” and will be in a “non-invasive” that respects the essence and appearance of these boats as features.
“Gondolas and currently carry an identification number on his helmet inside, but is not readable by the cameras. Moreover, the GPS will be used to control the speed of navigation,” Bergamo said.
With these measures, the most prominent of the 26 which includes the new ordinance in full, Venice, nicknamed La Serenissima, wants to live up to his nickname and bring order and peace in their, so far, choppy waters
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