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‘New’ Makarios Avenue spoiled by old parking habits as row brews  

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‘New’ Makarios Avenue spoiled by old parking habits as row brews  

Photo: Christos Theodorides

Just weeks after the reopening of the revamped Makarios Avenue in Nicosia, complaints are already flying in regarding the state of traffic on the capital’s central road, particularly as regards as vehicles parking on the pavement.

At the beginning of January, the Nicosia municipality announced that part of Makarios Avenue would temporarily open to all vehicles as opposed to the original plan of only allowing authorised vehicles to pass through the avenue.

Nicosia mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis told media there were logistical delays that prevented the municipality from going ahead with its original plan and that the initial proposal involved an automatic camera monitoring system, which has not been implemented yet.

Since the reopening of Makarios Avenue to private vehicles, there have been reports of cars parking on pavements or stopped in the middle of the road with buses forced to overtake them in difficult and dangerous manoeuvres, especially on the section of the road starting from Lycavytos police station to Evagorou Avenue.

The Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (Etek) and the transport ministry have both expressed their concerns regarding Makarios Avenue and its return to heavy traffic.

Moreover, the audit service reiterated that it might be forced to report the municipality for failing to respect the conditions that allowed for the EU grant of €13m in funding.

As explained before the official reopening of the road on December 7, when rumours were already circulating regarding the possible allowing of private vehicles’ on the avenue, the audit service said the funds for the project were allocated under specific conditions and a change of plans would violate the agreement.

Etek’s president Constantinos Constantis told Politis that the plan to make Makarios Avenue pedestrian and only open to public transport vehicles required the presence of cameras and a legislative framework regulating them, as well as an increase in the number of buses and routes available.

Constantis added that Etek is in constant communication with the traffic police in order to find a solution to the issue. He added that the chief of police set February 15 as the deadline to get out of the impasse.

According to reports, Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides has also sent a letter to the Nicosia municipality urging it to revisit its plans before informing the European Court of Auditors about the misuse of EU funds that were destined to promote sustainable mobility. The municipality vowed to address all doubts in the upcoming days.

 

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