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Rome cyclists get fed up waiting for cycle lane - so paint their own one

Campaigners take 45 minutes to put guerrilla infrastructure in place in Santa Bibiana tunnel near Termini station

Cyclists in Rome frustrated by the absence of a cycle lane through a tunnel in the city have taken matters into their own hands by painting it themselves.

According to La Repubblica, which has a gallery of pictures of the cycle lane, it took campaigners 45 minutes to paint it in the Santa Bibiana tunnel between Esquilino and San Lorenzo last Sunday.

The tunnel takes riders under the Italian capital’s main train station, Roma Termini, avoiding a long detour, and cyclists are appealing to the city’s mayor install a permanent cycle path there.

In open letter to the mayor, Ignazio Marino, himself a keen cyclist, they said: “We get around without a car, even taking our children to school, at our own risk and danger, in a city made for cars.

“We’re aware of the big problems that the city’s administration has to tackle – and traffic is one of the foremost – and of the scant resources available, of the conflicts that give rise to actions aimed at containing motor vehicles.

“But despite everything, we believe that there are a lot of things you can do for people who choose to leave the car behind and choose to get around by bike.”

In 2011, cycling campaigners in Mexico City similarly took the initiative by painting a 5km “guerrilla” bike path there.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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