It was far from paradise on Monaco’s roads on April 25th from 4 pm and then later into the evening rush hour – rather for many it was a headache and for some a nightmare. The normal day’s traffic flow of 110 thousand cars per day was thrown off balance. A perfect storm of factors caused vehicles in some main arteries in Monaco to virtually grind to a halt or take an hour to gain a few hundred metres.
Emotions spilled over onto social media. Primo with President of the Conseil National Stéphane Valeri sat up and took notice. The Principality has Guillaume Rose also in the role of President of the Commission on Environment and Quality of Life.
They assessed the situation as being sufficiently important to warrant Minister of State Serge Tell’s attention. Serge Tell with Minister of Public Works, the Environment and Urban Development, Marie-Pierre Gramaglia descended on the Integrated Mobility Management Centre which monitors traffic in the Principality 24 hours a day and is responsible for for first response to traffic problems.
What was causing the “perfect storm” that threw out an already delicate equilibrium in Monaco’s congested streets?
The landslide on the Moyenne Corniche, which has blocked that route after the recent heavy rains has diverted vehicles through Monaco which had caused a 10% increase in traffic by itself.
Then add the many major building projects in Monaco that serve to interrupt traffic flow.
On the same day, other incidents caused traffic jams (a vehicle on fire in the A500 tunnel, a blocked lorry on the Marquet link road, etc.).
If you add a few incidents of uncivil driving behaviour into the mix one end up with “gridlock”.
The normal flows of traffic on the Moyenne Corniche away from Monaco will not be restored for weeks and will be particularly bad until the second week of May.
Major Building projects are an ongoing feature of life in a Principality that is progressive and always reinventing itself.
Serge Telle, after assessing the situation decided to press for immediate action to prevent reoccurrences of the abnormal traffic conditions that struck the Principality on April 25th.
To improve traffic flow, “the Government is introducing special measures until 10 May, the date of the implementation of alternating traffic flow on the Moyenne Corniche, which will continue for several months,” announced Marie-Pierre Gramaglia. The aim of these special measures is to:
- Bring forward the completion of renovation work on the services network in the Boulevard du Jardin Exotique, increasing the time schedule for non-noise-producing operations, in order to complete the work by 10 May and reintroduce two-way traffic
- Postpone the second phase of this work until a later date
- Postpone lighting work in the Avenue Hector Otto, which had become the last entry point into the Principality before the collapse of the wall
- Authorise vehicular traffic in four bus lanes in the Principality until 10 May: in the Rue Grimaldi, the Boulevard Albert 1er, the Avenue d’Ostende and the Boulevard Charles III, between the Place d’Armes and the Place du Canton.
In addition, the Government has decided to systematically intensify the means of communication in real time of incidents that have an impact on traffic (via information on social networks and an alert system) and strengthen police checks on uncivil behaviour on the road (such as using unauthorised lanes, stopping suddenly in the road, double parking, etc.).