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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

PUNTA CAMPANELLA - TIME TO ACT

The footpath to Punta Campanella has been the subject of several of my blogs since it was restored 2 years ago, officially in order to make it accessible to all. 
From the very start I and others raised our concerns that the initial lack of any form of barrier was an open invitation to all forms of motorized traffic and it was not long before mopeds, motorbikes and small cars started making their appearance along the path, in spite of a sign forbidding this at its start.
In time, and after considerable pressure on the local authorities, a barrier appeared. The padlock lasted a few days and since then I have never, ever found it closed. 
More recently, during the winter, a new road sign appeared, slightly more visible than the previous one and in three languages. Such a pity that it is full of mistakes! When I pointed this out to the local authorities (the Comune), I was told that it was the remit of the local police and nothing to do with them. I find it extremely difficult to accept that nobody thought to check it first but once again it is not for us to wonder why!
Whatever, the total lack of respect and the total lack of any form of control, sporadic or not, has now turned the path into a freeway, especially at weekends. 
Giovanni Visetti in his latest blog: "Motocross along the Punta Campanella path, so much for the disabled!" paints a pretty dismal picture of the present situation, having himself found a group of motorcyclists right down at the tip of the trail last weekend. Not one to stay silent, he asks how come the many people who criticized, denounced and opposed the project at the time now remain silent in front of the havoc that is being wrought along the final stretch of the trail.
As you can see from the photos, it is in a pitiful state and, in just 2 years, virtually back to what it was before its restoration. Even worse, what was once a peaceful and relaxing stroll in the fresh air  is fast becoming polluted by the noise and smell of motorbikes ridden by their uncivilized owners who also expect the walker to get out of their way (and fast) to let them pass. 
The local Council has been talking a lot recently about the importance of our paths, having woken up to the fact that they are an excellent incentive for tourism in our area. There are even projects for Associations to adopt and maintain a path. All very laudable, but what about this one which is probably the most important due to its historic value alone?
Now that the tourist tax has been doubled for the coming season I can only hope that some of the money is used to take the necessary measures here: and that means instigating an efficient and effective way of ensuring that access is limited to those on foot. Start with finding a way to keep that barrier down. Put some cameras in. And if that is all too difficult, maybe send the traffic wardens down for a walk at key times to raise a few fines (extra money for the Council after all!). 

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