Anyone who has spent more than five minutes in Monaco, breathing in toxic fumes, or sitting in a parked car waiting for the traffic to flow again on the Moyenne Corniche, can attest to the fact that SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE about traffic congestion in Monaco.
I am sorry, readers, if I am boring you. I admit to having written about this on previous occasions. But, it gets worse all the time. So, SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE if the Principality is to keep its undoubted allure.
Readers of NEWS.MC may be very aware of the fact that Monaco and Cap d’Ail are at loggerheads over a huge road ‘improvement’ plan for the so-called Hospital roundabout and the exit of the one-way Rainier III tunnel that feeds traffic onto the Moyenne Corniche in the direction of Nice.
The estimated cost of work is 30 million euros, which means, in reality, double that.
The project defies logic and the most recent town-planning expertise of the last 40 years or so. At a time when the conventional wisdom is to make roundabouts smaller and roads narrower in traffic-calming measures, it is a nonsense to make that part of the highway wider. The result is that drivers arrive at greater speed at the next bottleneck.
The Mayor of Cap d’Ail is correct and the Metropolis of Nice, which has tried to overrule him, absolutely wrong, although one can see their motivation is to funnel as many workers as possible into the Principality each morning.
However, there are other voices being raised. At present not much more than whispers, they may become a louder chorus, hopefully before the mad Big Roundabout project rather than after it.
The idea is a Metro between Nice and Monaco, ending at Saint Romain, as favoured by the National Council, which reaffirmed its enthusiasm this week. Not only would this really help relieve the twice-daily commuter congestion on the Moyenne Corniche, it could be a way of cutting down on lung-poisoning traffic within the Principality.
How long would it take to come to fruition? Maybe 20 years. More likely 30. But the sooner we start taking about it in louder voices the sooner the better.
In the meantime, Betsy and I took the train to Ventimiglia on Wednesday, to get away from the carbon monoxide. Coming out of the train station, we took a ristretto at the American Bar, the friendly joint just across the square.
Having been turned away from the Bar Americain at the Hotel de Paris on Saturday once again because it was too busy, it’s the only American Bar we can get into.
Monte-Carlo Diary is published in the interests of editorial diversity, and any views expressed or implied do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers
FILE PHOTO: The Paris Metro