The regional government in Italy's Trentino area, near the Austrian border, has closed high passes in the Dolomites to motor vehicle traffic. The action is part of an effort to reduce both air and noise pollution for the many day hikers, climbers and backpackers that frequent the region. Ironically, bus traffic will still be allowed for tourist transportation.
Many local municipalities oppose the ban, which they fear will reduce both tourist traffic and tourist spending. Proponents of the plan, including mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner, are willing to allow vehicular traffic before 9:00 AM and after 3:00 PM, but no amendments have yet been made to the original ban.