From: Associated Press
Published January 23, 2005 12:00 AM

Traffic Barred for a Day in Milan and Some 130 Cities across Northern Italy

Cars were banned in Milan, Verona and some other 130 cities and towns across northern Italy Sunday to lower air-pollution levels.

In Milan, car traffic was banned for the second Sunday in a row. People walked or used public transportation, which was increased. Others opted for bicycles or roller skates despite the cold weather.

Milan city officials have said they will decide whether to enact the one-day bans on a week-by-week basis, depending on pollution levels.

The ban in Italy's financial capital started at 8 a.m. (0700GMT) and was scheduled to last for 12 hours.

Other cities adopting similar measures included Mestre, Verona and Treviso in the northeastern part of the country, with times varying from place to place. In some cities, public transportation was free.

Italian cities are trying to find ways to curb pollution levels by restricting use of private vehicles. Rome and Milan are testing a measure that bans cars with even- or odd-numbered license plates on alternate Thursdays.


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