The daily “Odyssey” on the streets of Athens and the estimates of experts

The situation prevailing on the streets of Athens and the daily inconvenience that drivers suffer in the capital due to increased traffic, commented the transport specialist and PhD candidate at NTUA, Panagiotis Tzouras, who estimated that “we return to their mobility in 2019”, referring to leisure, shopping and entertainment sectors.

The file with the daily “Odyssey” for the daily commuting on the streets of Athens and other big cities was opened by the First Program 91.6 and 105.8 – in the show “The GPS of current affairs” with Thanos Siafakas – in collaboration with National Technical University of Athens.

Athens: How much traffic has increased on main roads

According to the data presented by Panagiotis Tzouras in relation to September 2020, the increase in traffic in Kifissos is 10% to 15% and in Kifissias Avenue exceeds 30%. The delays during the morning rush hours in Kifissos exceed 25 to 30 minutes and on Attiki Odos they reach 10 to 15 minutes. Delays are also recorded at the Ymittos Ring Road, with the result that the irritation and fatigue of drivers and passengers intensifies daily.

According to him, the big “loser” from the pandemic was Public Transport, as ticket validations are about 3/4 compared to 2019. In other words, we have 1/4 of the daily validations, which logically has gone to car.

“This, in combination with the increase of mobility after the lifting of the restrictive measures has created the situation we live in”, stressed Mr. Tzouras. At the same time, data from the Ministry of Transport show that 94% of public transport routes are less than 50% full and only 2% are full at 65%.

“But there is a difference during peak hours. That is, the buses are very crowded during peak hours and are almost empty the rest of the hours. “Mobility has not only a spatial dimension, but also a temporal one”, he pointed out.

For his part, the emeritus professor of NTUA, transport specialist – urban planner, Thanos Vlastos stressed that “the situation is deadlocked. “Athens, in which someone has invested by buying a house, is dying and this house in a few years will have half the value”.

“What is happening today will bother us much more in the coming years. “We are going to get much worse,” he said, describing various “barbarities” that we live in cities with children and the disabled or the elderly as the first “victims”. He called for us to set an example from what is happening in other European countries, where citizens applaud policies to curb cars and increase sidewalks and bike lanes.

Are there solutions?

The associate professor at NTUA, Konstantinos Kepaptsoglou, appeared optimistic that there are solutions, although they do not seem to be easy. We are not going to disappear cars from the city streets overnight, nor to live in “paradise” at rush hour.

“There are solutions and the most important thing is to be able to turn people into urban transport, which is not at all easy.” He added that “I think we are a little worse than 2019 at peak hours. While we had increased traffic 08.00 am – 09.00 am, now we have 09.00 am – 10.00 am and 10.00 am – 11.00 am. The river is blocked at 13.00 in the current to Piraeus “.

Meanwhile, with the resumption of the ring on October 25, there is intense concern about how traffic will be affected on regional road networks. However, “some form of ring is difficult to avoid. The problem is that we are far behind, abroad the priorities have to do with the environment and other constraints, while here we are left alone “, pointed out the transport engineer, Konstantinos Kouretas.

The proposal of the Greek transport specialists has always been that access should be provided to everyone, noted Mr. Kouretas. But this with very good alternative means. “Our big weapon is the MMM. If we do not ensure equal and humane access to all, we can not talk about prohibitions. “The bans in the city centers must go hand in hand with the improvement of the alternative.”

What needs to be ensured is that we have a peripheral network that is as optimized as possible, which has to do with both signaling and parking monitoring, adjusting the timetable, so that the road network operates in a sustainable way, according to with Mr. Kouretas.

“The aim is to reduce the need for a car so that they do not take up so much space on the roads and to give this space to pedestrians, bicycles and public transport.”


Source: Enikos by

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