The Unknown Cyclist

The cities of Milan and Nassirya are getting a twinning arrangement. Letizia Moratti will soon go to Iraq to visit Eni. She’ll be accompanied by her oil-business husband Gian Marco Moratti, her oil-business brother-in-law Massimo Moratti e and her green sister-in-law Milly Moratti.
The two cities have a common heritage of those who died for oil. In Iraq for defending the oil wells. In Italy for defending the profits of the oil magnates and the State. The civilians who have “fallen” are much more numerous than those who fell in war.
Just in Milan the count of cyclists from the beginning of the year is of 812 injured and 11 dead. For pedestrians it’s 290 injured and 26 dead. A total of 37 dead, but then that’s not including the Christmas period. In the last few days, a young woman was killed on the pedestrian crossing by an ATM bus.
A gentleman on a bicycle was squashed by an articulated vehicle right in the centre. A 13 year old boy was knocked over with his bicycle by a truck. But they are ordinary people. Those who love the risk. Anything but parachutists. And those who take the risk pay.
The city authorities should intervene. For example oblige all citizens to equip themselves with a car. Not for getting around but for protection. Seat belts, air bags, side-impact protection bars are made for that. Journey times would get longer but petrol would disappear like bread.
And many lives would be saved. There’d still be the danger for those who are obstinate enough to want to walk to the stop of the public transport. There’s a solution: underpasses. Directly from your front door to the bus stop or to the metro station.
The number of cyclists who have died in accidents has doubled in a year in Milan. The problem must be tackled straight away. Forbid bicycles. And, as a warning, erect a memorial to the unknown cyclist. Sponsored by Eni and Fiat.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:45 AM in | Comments (6)
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Hello there, this was data posted yesterday

Cost of a Barrel of oil today $56.31 cost of gasoline on the international market $1.62 per Gallon (1 gallon=3.785 liters) cast at the pump=1.235-1.233 Euros (1 euro=1.30 dollars).
2) Have done all of the exchanges, here it is a liter of gasoline cast 0.32 Euros and therefore the difference at the pump is 0.913 Euros (Taxes, profit etc)

Today:
Cost of a barrel of oil $54.85, cost of gasoline on the international market $1.42 per Gallon (1 Gallon=3.785 Liters) cost at the pump=1.223 Euros (1 Euro=1.2946 dollars)
Have done all the exchanges, here it is a liter of gasoline cost 0.289 Euros and therefore the difference at the pump is 0.933 Euros (Tax and Profits etc)
Rest my case, while our Political Representatives are investigating Oil Company for Gauging the Public.
Thanks you very much

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 10, 2007 05:03 PM


Hello there,
Although Cycle path I believe to a mandatory requirement especially in today environment of high smog cities, climate changes, energy supply problem, costs and so on.
Looking at the bigger picture though, I am astonished at the fact that on average each and every car owner is paying Euros 4000 per year in costs just to have the privilege to drive a car.
I personally wouldn’t mind paying the mentioned amount if the roads are available, well maintained, with cycle path, well marked and illuminated, freeway free of charges (Since built with our money), costs for a driver license reasonable, insurance the same (It’s insane) etc.
Now Italy has the highest density of cars (58 per 100 people above 18 years) Italians pay the highest Circulation Tax (Timely changed to Property tax) when a car changes ownership the costs are out of this world, rebate promised decades ago never done) freeways are not free but well managed by Autostrade that was making so much money and little repair work that they thought better sell them before the Italian Government takes back and last but not list the cost of gasoline.
Facts;
1) Cost of a Barrel of oil today $56.31 cost of gasoline on the international market $1.62 per Gallon (1 gallon=3.785 liters) cast at the pump=1.235-1.233 Euros (1 euro=1.30 dollars).
2) Have done all of the exchanges, here it is a liter of gasoline cast 0.32 Euros and therefore the difference at the pump is 0.913 Euros (Taxes, profit etc)
Although I recognize it is still cheap versus a liter of Mineral Water and we actually need water more than we need gasoline, but the world works, produce, moves thanks to car, electricity, heat and factory to turn the lights on every day need oil and gasoline.
I am asking myself where all this insane amount of money is going each and every day?
I read somewhere numbers between 60-70 billions (Don’t quote me on these numbers) and the roads are in the condition you are well aware of.
Anas is as good as bankrupt, mismanagement 6 billion disappeared etc, to get a driver license 1200 Euros etc, I am sure you are well aware of all the abuses for the privilege of driving, while the alternatives are Train (Well not sure TI is still in business tomorrow) Alitalia is bankrupt, bicycles well that is the subject we are talking about so spare the comments!
What is the Ministry of Transportation fits in into this mess, is probably busy siphoning money to plug holes elsewhere but sooner rather then later someone somewhere should have to explain where is all this money going?
Your guess is better than mine on this subject!
Thanks

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 8, 2007 02:56 PM


Id like to add another statistic to the above if I may Beppe, every 4 days a cyclist or a pedestrian is killed in Milan. Brilliant. They say the world is over crowded and Milan is doing its best to solve that problem.

Joking aside….Milan is a city which is perfect for the bike. It’s flat. We have at least 300 days a year where if it’s not sunny well at least it’s not raining. Perfect cycling terrain. Why are there so few cycle paths? Why are there no incentives to use them? They have this ridiculous “festival” every year here in Milan “Bicincitta” where the safest bikes in the city are the ones hanging over Buenos Aires street with lights on them. I cycled to work for 3 years in Milan. Was knocked down once and had numerous near misses.

Cars just don’t care. Even though I was lit up like a Christmas tree with flashing lights, florescent vest and arm bands cars refuse to see you if you are on a bike on the road. I’ve given up now. Why?

It’s just too dangerous. The bike is the perfect solution in milan but until its made safe to go from for example Loreto to san Siro by bike i'll be taking the car and adding my contribution to the smog and pollution.

There’s something like 20 kilometers of cycle path in Milan (cars like to park on them too and never get a ticket!!) compared to the 900 of Berlin. It’s a shocking disgrace and one the mayors and politicians ought to be ashamed off.

Posted by: pat kerr | December 15, 2006 10:34 AM


And what about all the phoney "cycle paths" which the Bologna city council (to name just one) has painted in the middle of sidewalks (eliminating space for pedestrians) to make cyclists think they can actually dare to cycle anywhere.
Painted with (expensive) yellow paint in the middle of nowhere, leading to nowhere (or in some cases ending up in canals). Good taxpayers money spent on "pretending" that the city actually has cycle paths. Why doesn't someone from the city administration take a bicycle to Holland or Germany to see what a cycle path should really look like.

Posted by: Maureen Lister | December 11, 2006 02:50 PM


Hello,
Living in Bologna, I went out today to do some shopping. Bad idea. There are so many cars out there, I thought at some point I would choke.
It's Saturday! Most people can't even say they use the car to go to work! What's the excuse?
I'm thinking of getting a car, just so I can have a bubble of fresh air.

Posted by: Juliette Lucie | December 9, 2006 04:42 PM


hello!!! i just want to say that it's time to say stop to this shit!!!! i live in london and please don't think that here it is so different!! for example the Blair's government want to close more 1000 post offices!! and all in the countryside!!!!! unbelievable!!!! the world's gonna spin in the wrong way my friend... let's be ready for the worse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: simone paolini | December 9, 2006 12:16 PM


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