NEW plans to redesign Tseri Avenue will be drawn up soon and will examine the possibility of two lanes, it was decided on Friday, Strovolos Mayor Andreas Papacharalambous.
Although the government has wanted to facelift the area for years, opposition from residents and shop owners, as well as cash needed for the works being blocked by parliament, has held the project back.
Papacharalambous thanked President Nicos Anastasiades for his initiative to chair the meeting on Friday that included all stakeholders – the ministers of interior, transport, and justice, Constantinos Petrides, Marios Demetriades and Ionas Nicolaou, Strovolos municipal officers and the Tseri Avenue initiative committee comprised of residents and business owners.
The plans will entail two lanes, wide pavements, shade and a bicycle lane “for a road which will primarily serve the needs of those involved which are none other than the residents who live and work on and around Tseri Avenue,” Papacharalambous said.
Demetriades added the situation at the moment is a well-known mess.
“There have been enough road deaths there in the past few years and we certainly don’t want to mourn any more victims.”
At least two deaths were recorded in the past 18 months due to poor asphalt conditions and insufficient lighting, especially at pedestrian crossings. Furthermore, the unregulated parking along Tseri Avenue also prevents drivers and pedestrians from seeing oncoming traffic.
The matter had been lingering and the past municipal council, of which Papacharalambous was also a member, was undecided, due to pressure from shop owners who refuse to allow partition barriers, for fear of losing business.
Asked if the avenue will be two lanes, the transport minister said during the process of redesigning the plans, the two-lane scenario will be examined, however this would have to fall under the scrutiny of all the services which will review the plans.
The goal is to “satisfy the needs of the state, but those of the residents at the same time. It is not easy but it will be done.”
Papacharalambous said the new plans would prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and people with special needs, not drivers.
Temporary measures would be taken in cooperation with the police to reduce traffic, he added.
Asked if traffic would be an issue with the new plans, he said new studies would be undertaken, but he did not believe such an issue would emerge.
“Three years later, this project will come to life and will help traffic and the people that live by this Avenue,” Demetris Balaouras, of the Tseri Avenue initiative said.