Rome's Mayor Talks Transit In Boston: What Two Historic Cities Can Learn From Each Other

Download Audio
The Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, in Boston, May 31, 2014. (Photo courtesy: Steve Snyder)
The Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, in Boston, May 31, 2014. (Photo courtesy: Steve Snyder)

One of the things that makes Boston distinctive, for better or worse, is its many narrow, winding old streets, some of them paved with cobblestones. That's what you get when cow paths become roads. And they can be simultaneously charming and aggravating.

But Boston's streets are practically brand-new compared to the ancient "viae" of Rome. The "eternal city" is a great walking city, but it's also notorious for its traffic congestion, which makes it a good place to study urban transportation and city planning.

Rome's mayor speaks with WBUR's Sacha Pfeiffer about what Boston can learn from Italy's capital when it comes to making busy, historic cities more bike and pedestrian friendly.


Ignazio Marino, mayor of Rome. He tweets at @ignaziomarino.


The Boston Globe: For Rome Mayor, Transit Is Key Issue

  • "Marino has made some controversial transportation decisions: he rebooted the city’s bike-share initiative, which had been plagued by theft and vandalism. He wants to help commuters pay bus and subway fares with their smartphones. He decided to close the Via dei Fori Imperiali, a major thoroughfare with heavy traffic, to non-essential vehicles on weekdays, and created a pedestrian-only plaza on weekends. And he's limiting traffic on Rome’s most noteworthy roundabout — the one at the Colosseum."

This segment aired on June 2, 2014.

Headshot of Sacha Pfeiffer

Sacha Pfeiffer Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.



More from Radio Boston

Listen Live