Mims: new investments for safer road infrastructures

Mims: new investments for safer road infrastructures


Significant investments in safety and technological adaptation of road infrastructures are among the objectives to be worked on in the coming years: a clear message from the Government, expressed by the Minister of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility, Enrico Giovannini, on the occasion of the Automotive business Sole24Ore summit.

Although Italy does not yet have a formal transition date, Minister Giovannini underlined that Spain, France and many other European countries have defined a deadline, 2030-2035- 2040, after which it will no longer be possible to market internal combustion vehicles even if partial, while Italy has not yet taken a decision.

It is a discussion we are having with the Minister of Ecological Transition Cingolani, who must prepare the new Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan. By 2030, Italy must significantly reduce emissions following the specific European agreement. This is certainly a somewhat unavoidable issue, not to punish anyone but to give a clear direction also to the private sector.

The minister has paid considerable attention to roads and motorways and to the related structural criticality in which part of the network is located. Enrico Giovannini therefore took the opportunity to reiterate the need to invest resources in safety and technology. In the coming years it will inevitably be essential to dedicate substantial resources to ensure that existing infrastructures remain efficient.

Since 2009, when I was at the OECD, I have acquired the awareness that precisely between 2020 and 2030 the countries that built their infrastructures after the Second World War or in subsequent years would have had to face a huge investment in maintenance of those infrastructures. But it will not be a conservative maintenance but an evolutionary and revolutionary one, because in the meantime the maintenance must take into account the new criteria, for example on asphalts and other materials, for environmental sustainability and then digitization, which is a great opportunity but also a duty for being able to do the so-called predictive maintenance therefore anticipating problems, not chasing them. In the Pnrr there are very significant investments in this direction of transformation of our motorways.

One of the prerogatives of the next few years, however, is to improve the movement of workers within urban areas. In fact, the goal would be to reach a collaboration between mobility managers and city administrators.

Some guidelines will be issued in a short time which will also concern schools, among other things. The lowering of the limit beyond which companies and public institutions must appoint mobility managers from 300 to 100 employees, he concluded, will provide local authorities with many more contacts, many more subjects with whom to plan sustainable mobility. If the Municipalities, in collaboration with companies, will be able to better manage the projects that many of the latter have, to have coworking spaces scattered throughout the cities instead of concentrating everyone in the central office, then this will also help to permanently change the way to function in our cities and urban centers, added Minister Giovannini.

Let's not forget that the government will have to manage about 222 billion euros in the post-pandemic. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan will, in fact, revolve around six very important key points, which include, for example, "Digitization, Innovation, Competitiveness and Culture" and "Green Revolution and Ecological Transition", with 68.8 billion euros earmarked for renewal of local public transport, with the purchase of low-emission buses, and for the renewal of part of the train fleet for regional transport with alternative propulsion vehicles. In the Plan, however, the presence of investments for "Infrastructure for Sustainable Mobility" stands out, with funds that will be used for the rational development of a modern, sustainable transport infrastructure extended to all areas of the country. In fact, the Plan envisages an important investment in high-speed rail transport and investments for the modernization and strengthening of the regional railway lines.

Bill Mims column: Timeless lessons: The life of Jonathan Daniels

Less chronicled, yet profoundly important, is the vision that caused a brilliant, introspective young man to journey to the place where he would lay down his life, Christ-like, four years later.

In his speech, Daniels mused that “we have been stretched in a great many directions” and that “[f]our years can be tediously long — and incredibly fleeting.” What was it that stretched him during those fleeting four years after leaving VMI? And what can he teach us, three score years later?

That period in Daniels’ life can be summarized as “a tale of three Sundays.” The first was Easter 1962 when he experienced a profound spiritual moment: “I made a decision which radically changed my life. I decided to return to the church, having left her quite deliberately several years before. I decided then … in God’s good time to seek holy orders” — to become an Episcopalian priest.

In a Sunday sermon at his home church months later, as he prepared to enter seminary, Daniels explained his calling: “Somebody must visit the sick and the lonely and the frightened and the sorrowing. Somebody must comfort the discouraged, argue lovingly and convincingly with the anguished doubter. Somebody must remind the sick soul that healing is within his grasp and urge him to take the medicine when his disease seems more attractive.”

Quoting the prophet Isaiah, he concluded, “I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here am I. Send me.’”

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