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Ambitious plans for extensive pedestrianization in Athens, initiated

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With a brave decision to change the Athens’ poor traffic conditions, the Mayor of Athens, Mr. Kostas Bakoyannis, proposes today, in a flash sitting of the Municipal Council, extensive pedestrianization on the central axes of Athens city center.

The design is entitled “The great promenade of Athens”. The aim is to make the city more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists and reduce the space provided for vehicles. The measures also aim to increase road safety, reduce road accidents and increase the use of public transport.

Mr. Bakoyannis’ proposals have three applications: the first is the expansion of the sidewalks, the second is the completion of pedestrianization of existing road axes and the third is the promotion of public transport with new bus lanes and the use of bicycles, which is now an unknown word in the city center.

The measures will be introduced on a pilot basis and will be tested in practice during their implementation. Through the experience of the pilot application, the real impact on the life and operation of the city will be realistically evaluated. An inter-parliamentary committee will be set up for the smooth and effective implementation of the new regulations. For the transparent evaluation of the regulations, the Municipality of Athens intends to post an electronic consultation system.

The implementation of the final traffic regulations and the realization of the permanent projects will require the drafting of a Special Spatial Plan and its accompanying Strategic Environmental Impact Study, which will be also put to public consultation. The results will mark the institutional launch of this emblematic intervention.

Overall, the renovations are adopting the principles of bio-climatic design, with priority to improve urban environment, manage rainwater in an innovative way, improve walking paths and upgrade public space.

Pedestrianization to be prioritized

On Panepistimiou Ave. sidewalks will be widened by 9 meters (i.e. 3 lanes) along the entire length of the road with a special lane for cyclists.

The opposite direction dedicated to buses which is being transferred to Akadimias Ave. With this intervention, the “Trilogy” (i.e. the National Library, the University and the Academy of Athens) and the surrounding streets will be upgraded.

Omonia Sq. is being upgraded and opened to the public in a few days, while improvements are planned on Patision Ave. in the section between Omonia and the Archaeological Museum. This renovation will add another 7,000 sq.m. of public space.

In the area of ​​Syntagma Sq., the sidewalks are being expanded, while three lanes for vehicles and a bus lane will remain. With this specific widening, approximately 1.300 sq.m. will be attributed to the public space.

It is reminded that the Commercial Triangle (defined by Athinas – Omonia Sq.-Stadiou Ave.-Syntagma Square-Metropolis) and the area of ​​Plaka will remain as pedestrian areas.

 

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