Scooters are too good at what they do, said Mariella Cirillo in Turin’s La Stampa. Italians embraced the zippy motorized bikes for all the reasons the manufacturers said they should. Light and quick, they can maneuver easily through narrow alleyways and speed past lines of stopped cars. In short, they “make the perfect getaway vehicle.” In Naples, unfortunately, the police say scooters are the escape pod of choice for petty criminals, particularly the many muggers who prey on tourists. The pattern is well established. Punch a tourist in the face, steal his Rolex, hop on a scooter, and ride off to impunity. But thankfully, the reign of the scooter may be coming to an end. Naples police have set up concrete barriers around the entrances to the cobblestoned historic district, which has long been closed to cars but open to bikes and scooters. From now on, only scooter drivers who can prove they live in the district will be allowed to proceed. The measure might cut down on crime. At the very least, it will “clear the air.”
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