A final decision about whether or not cars will be allowed on Eleftheria square once it fully opens to the public will be made by the city council in December, Nicosia mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis said on Monday.
The original plan envisaged the use of the square by vehicles, but if a solution with only pedestrians is adopted, specifications for the use of emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks will be issued.
“With all our projects, we aim to prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and public transport,” the mayor said, referring to road improvements in the city in general.
“We try to make space for cycling lanes, bus lanes and more pavements. The idea is that people will use their cars less and we plant trees for shade so they can walk longer and more comfortably.”
This is the idea for Eleftheria square as well, he added. “However, there are people who are not ready to use their cars less.”
Interior Minister, Constantinos Petrides, said, also on Monday, that he was in favour of banning vehicles from Eleftheria Square. Petrides said in a post on his Facebook profile that it would be a shame not to. “The city has to be humanised with progressively cars being used less and less,” he said.
The mayor has long tried to get the public to use public transport more frequently. For the past year, a mini-bus service has been operating in and around the old town. In September Yiorkadjis called on residents to make more use of these small buses, saying they were a vital means to combat traffic congestion in the city.