Shopkeepers and pedestrians have apparently won the long battle over the future redesign of Tseri avenue in Strovolos.
Strovolos mayor Andreas Papacharalambous announced on Thursday that the municipal council had rejected the government’s proposal for a three-lane road, two for cars and one for buses, with a central reservation and opted for a scaled down version which is more business and pedestrian friendly.
“This much-discussed issue has finally come to an end: we are proceeding with the redesign of Tseri avenue, with two lanes and no median strip,” he said, adding the avenue will be designed on the principles of sustainable mobility.
Papacharalambous said the newly approved plans would prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and people with special needs, not drivers. He explained wide tree-lined pavements and parking spaces will be created, and a cycling lane.
“Tseri avenue is one of Strovolos’ most commercial and busy roads, with thousands of people crossing it every day due to its key geographical position. With houses and small businesses on either side, Tseri is not an interurban road but above all a commercial road that still retains its local character.”
The mayor said the decision was not taken lightly but was the result of many meetings and extensive discussions held with all concerned. During the process, the impact of the residents’ daily lives in the coming decades and the commercial life of the region were considered.
“We listened, we thought, we insisted. And we succeeded,” he said.
The matter had been undecided for years, with pressure coming from shop owners along the avenue who refused to allow partition barriers and vehicles travelling at higher speed for fear of losing business.
The contracts for turning this very busy, village-type road into a four-lane avenue were signed in 2017 but later cancelled due to the protests of residents and shop owners.
Those in favour of three or more lanes argue that sooner or later the road will need to be widened, like it happened in Strovolos avenue, to ease traffic congestion. They insist traffic is certain to increase over the next 10 years and the existing road will become unsuitable.