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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Protest in Makariou for reinstatement of dual carriageway – What is the Municipality's response?

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Διαμαρτυρλα &sigma ;την ΜακαρΙου για επαναφορΑ αμφ ιδρoμησης - Τι απαντà ο Δorμος

A protest event was held on Saturday by the Initiative Group of Store Managers and Owners of Makarios and Paradromons, calling for the temporary reinstatement of the Makarios dual carriageway because they believe that it will solve too many of the problems that everyone lives every day in the city of Nicosia. 

< p>For its part, the Municipality of Nicosia states in its statement that it fully recognizes the right of businessmen and shopkeepers to protest, but considers their decision “hasty and premature”. We understand that this is an important change in the daily life of citizens, but the required time has not been given for the public to get used to it, he notes.

In the morning, the participants partially closed the road of Makariou, at the height of the Ministry of Energy, Trade, Industry and Tourism, holding banners, which read: "First European public transport and then one-way roads", "We demand the reinstatement of two-way traffic of Makariou" and holding placards, which read “We demand nerve-free traffic”, “We demand adequate public transport”, “We demand an accessible Makariou”, “We demand a reduction in traffic”, “We demand safety in our neighbourhoods”, “We demand restoring the commerciality of the center», » We demand options for the driver not exclusion», » We demand respect for the citizen», » We demand traffic safety».

The road was closed in the presence of members of the Police, who were regulating traffic.

In the meantime, the Municipality of Nicosia issued a statement regarding the protest event, stating that it fully recognizes the right of businessmen and shopkeepers in the protest, however, he judges their decision as hasty and premature, noting that "we understand that this is an important change in the daily life of citizens, but the required time has not been given for the public to get used to it".

The representative of the businessmen, owners, residents and visitors of the southern part of Makarios Avenue, from the Landmark Hotel to the Lycabettus Police Station, Marilena Ieromonachou, in her statements during the protest, said, among other things, that they are protesting the change and the transformation of the road of the south of Makarios into a strange one-way street, adding that there are three lanes that go to its center and a two-way street that leads to the exit of the city and concerns only buses, taxis, bicycles.

"This creates multiple security issues. There are very serious accidents every day and many a day and even the buses are involved, before we didn't have such a situation, he said.

"Traffic jams are created in the passageways of Makarios, where people are forced to leave to find their exit and go through a labyrinth to get out of the city. Problems are created for pedestrians and families living in the area, at the crossings. We also have the problems of pollutants, which again are transferred to the neighborhoods and these are completely opposite to the projects called for by the public projects on sustainable mobility, he added.

He mentioned, at the same time, that the first condition of this project was to implement public transport, which would adequately serve the citizens going down to the city. "At this moment, this is not fulfilled, it has not been done. Citizens have no alternative solutions, they are again forced to get into the car and again to create gusts and all of this to be transferred to the periphery and the perimeter, he added.

As Ms. Ieromonachos said, these have direct effects on the economy and their productivity, because they currently spend much more time in cars, they also spend gas and time away from their families, their work and it makes their quality of life difficult.

When asked what they are asking for, Mrs. Ieromonachou said that what they are asking for is even temporarily, – until the conditions that the Transport Specialists of Public Works and Public Works themselves have set and signed with Europe are implemented , i.e. for sustainable mobility-, is the dual carriageway of Makarios.

He reiterated that the first condition that must be implemented is strong public transport.

"At the moment we don't have them. When they come to do all this, which they told us that at least in three to five years the rest of the projects will start and in 10-15 to be completed, because this project, which is a part of the wider project, starts from outside the Nicosia, from Latsia, from the General Hospital. When we asked them why you started, -since it is a big project-, from the 1km that makes it difficult for citizens to pass, that makes our lives difficult, they told us that we had to start somewhere, he said.

Referring to the commerciality of the street, Mrs. Ieromonachou said that the commerciality has decreased dramatically, small businesses have closed.

« this has created great harm in commercialism. Our capital must not die. We have a problem with that,' he added.

In response to another question, Ms. Hieromonachou said that they will continue until they have the answers, until the solutions are found.

The representative of ELAM, Geadis Geadis, in his statements, said that the one-way approach of Makarios is unacceptable, which is suffering not only the people of Nicosia but the whole of Cyprus with plans without any logic.

"As ELAM we demand the return of Makarios to its previous state", he added.

Stelios Christodoulidis, a resident of the area, said in his statements that with the situation that has been created in Makariou, the cost of transporting people and their time has quadrupled.

Another resident of the area, Mr. Giorgos , in his statements he said that apart from the huge problem that has been created in the shops in general, and in the gas stations, those who live in Makariou from top to bottom are also suffering, noting that he himself needs much more time to go home than before.

The decision to protest hasty and premature, says the Municipality of Nicosia

Besides, the Municipality of Nicosia, in its announcement regarding the protest of businessmen/shopkeepers of Avenue Arch. Makariou C’, mentions, among other things, that following the request of the businessmen and shopkeepers of the area of ​​the shopping center, it planned and completed the two phases of the Project "Redevelopment of the Commercial Triangle of Makarios – Stasikratous – Evagorou".

He notes that the differentiation of traffic regulations on Makariou Avenue, like any big and important change, needs time to adapt.

«We are sure that the citizens will embrace the project, as it happened in other areas where similar ones were made extensive renovations (e.g. Stasikratous, Ermou, various streets that became pedestrian streets in the area within the Walls, etc.)», he adds.

He mentions, at the same time, that the project concerning the one-way construction of Makarios Avenue from the height of the Landmark hotel to its junction with Spyros Kyprianou and Digeni Akrita Avenues, which was studied and implemented by the Department of Public Works and the Sustainable Mobility Branch of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, is another important step for the implementation of the Nicosia Integrated Mobility Plan.

The Municipality of Nicosia states that it believes that this major change will have a much greater chance of success when a more complete network of bus lanes is created, with the priority being the completion of the Makarios Avenue bus lane to its final destination which is the Nicosia General Hospital, so that the bus acquire a real advantage over the car.

He notes that the promotion of other provisions of the Integrated Mobility Plan of Nicosia (OSKL) as well as other projects which combined will strengthen the dynamics of the specific projects is equally important.

"For example, the increase in the number of routes and the frequency of buses, the strengthening of the cycle route network, the reconstruction of Famagusta and Larnacos Avenues, the completion of the first part of the perimeter of Nicosia and Argyroupoleos Avenue, as well as the operation of an additional exit lane at Nikis Avenue», he adds.

The Municipality of Nicosia states that it fully recognizes the right of entrepreneurs and  shopkeepers in the protest.

« However, he considers their decision as hasty and premature. We realize that this is an important change in the daily life of citizens, but the required time has not been given for the public to get used to it, he notes.

«The Christmas season is a good opportunity for everyone to invite people in the center to get to know the new commercial avenue of the capital and to evaluate the possibilities and prospects that are created. The Municipality is planning a series of events in this direction”, he concludes.

Source: KYPE

Source: www.sigmalive.com

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