Milan Urban

Parking? Not in Zona Lorenteggio

I show a cool photo from the Metro construction works (courtesy of Milano Today) and then talk a bit about parking issues.

What a comfortable time it was in Summer! With all these many people gone, you were sure to always find comfortable parking close to where you wanted to go. Gone was the time that people would desperately try to park on sideways, pedestrian crossings, bus stops, and in second row. Of course, most of these solutions are also illegal in Italy, but nobody cares. Or: dares to care. The shortage of parking is just structurally too big to make a fuzz about it.

Naturally, this would change once life resumed in the city. However, this year, we are facing a slightly tricky situation in our area. We live adjunct to the constructions of Milan’s next metro line, the M4 or Metro Blu. It will connect Milan-Linate airport in the East with the totally marginal commuter train station of San Cristoforo in the East. Planning was not finished for the more meaningful extension towards the IKEA in Corsico, but wisely someone decided that construction should start eventually.

Now, for the most part, we are very thankful for these constructions. First, this metro will be a vital addition to Milan’s public transport network. From my perspective, it’s still missing two important lines afterwards to turn it from very good to outstanding, but I recognize that you can only build one at a time in the city if you want to avoid a total traffic disaster. So that’s great. And then, second, this totally eliminated all traffic noise in front of our house. We used to live with a two-lane street just in front of a big crossing. That’s now a one-lane street, so that much traffic has diverted to alternative routes. And interestingly, there is usually more noise from the supermarket’s air-conditioning than from the construction site. I suspect that this is specific to the type of site that we have in front of our house. It’s not going to be a metro station, but it’s an intermediary spot to aid with the tunneling of that big crossing. (This one is a bit tricky, since there is also a river running across; yet, that river itself flows underground, as it was initially covered to gain parking space, and then turned into an extra lane for buses and taxis.)

However, as constructions progress, so does space consumption of the construction site. And with space consumption, I mean consumption of parking spots. We have lost half of the parking spots in front of the house from one crossing to the next. The supermarket parking decided to not be accessible for inhabitants of the houses anymore. That’s silly, since it’s now always almost empty. (It’s a small city supermarket; you don’t go there by car to do your weekly groceries.) Around the corner, parking has been reduced to create some dedicated parking spots for scooters and to install a traffic light, which they now need because they deviate the traffic that formerly went through our street through that one. But that also means that in that next side street, half of the parking spots are gone to gain space for moving traffic. And not far away, they’ve also added more scooter parking spots, taking away another 20 parking spots for cars. Needless to say: those scooter parking spots are usually empty, and tend to be secretly taken over by cars.

That said, this is not a rant. I honestly don’t know how to do it any better. For me, there is some hope, since the girl has indicated less resistance towards me taking the bike to uni. Like, if I go after rush hour, that might be okay with her. I would so much prefer that.

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