President Nicos Anastasiades will preside over a meeting later in the month on the redevelopment of Tseri Avenue, Strovolos Mayor Andreas Papacharalambous has said.
Anastasiades’ involvement, is aimed at finding a comprome solution to satisfy both parties – the transport ministry and the Tseri Avenue residents and shop owners – who fail to see eye to eye as to how the commercial street ought to be redeveloped.
Papacharalambous expressed hope that the president’s involvement would “strengthen the momentum to reach a mutually acceptable solution”.
“We want a people-centric approach and a solution that would satisfy the needs of shop owners and residents,” the mayor told the Cyprus News Agency.
The municipal council’s priority, he said, is not to victimise the interested parties, “thus, we propose a safe and friendly road that would serve everyone”.
The meeting at the Presidential Palace is set to take place on August 25 with the participation also of the ministers of interior, transport and justice, the police, and representatives of residents and shop owners of Tseri Avenue.
Following several years of disagreements deriving from the opposition of residents and shop owners of the area to the government’s plans for a facelift of the commercial road, the transport ministry presented earlier in the month its latest plans.
The latest suggestion of the transport ministry is to remove a large part of the concrete median strip (separating opposing lanes of traffic), to which residents opposed, add extra parking space by appropriating more land, and possibly a bicycle lane. The plans also provide for a three-lane avenue; two lanes from Tseri to Strovolos and one from Strovolos to Tseri.
The Strovolos municipal council was to answer whether they agree in September.
Critics do not oppose a redevelopment, but would like one that would preserve both the avenue’s commercial life and neighbourly-like character.
Tseri Avenue initiative committee, comprised of residents and business owners, would like to see a two-lane road with a third lane where necessary, wide pavements with provisions for greenery, easy and safe access to residences, parking spaces for businesses, adequate lighting, and provisions for a low speed limit.
Former Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos said in March that a last-ditch effort would be made with the new municipal council and the involvement of state technocrats who were tasked with coming up with a solution acceptable to all.
The cash earmarked for the project has been blocked by parliament, while Hasikos had expressed the belief that petty politics and vested interests would be set aside to pave the way for the money to be released for the reconstruction.