With works almost complete on Eleftheria Square and the adjacent Costakis Pantelides Avenue, Nicosia municipality said on Friday, the request for the pedestrianisation of the street by various groups remains to be discussed, dismissing claims that the decision has already been taken to open the street to traffic.
According to the Friends of Nicosia Association on Thursday, “despite letters by various organisations and the online petition signed by over 3,500 people in favour of the use of Costakis Pantelides only by pedestrians, we have been informed that the traffic committee of the Nicosia municipality intends to unilaterally open the road for vehicles.”
On Friday, the Nicosia municipality issued an announcement applauding “the mobilisation of our fellow citizens and the interest they have shown for the recent developments of our city,” but clarified that the recent request for the pedestrianisation of Costakis Pantelides was a matter that still needed to be discussed by the municipal council.
In addition to the online petition, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Nicosia Tourism board joined the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber and the Paraplegic Organisation in demanding that Costakis Pantelides, as well as Constantinou Palaiologou street that joins Eleftheria Square with the Ochi roundabout, remain accessible only to pedestrians.
This request comes just weeks after the success of a campaign in December by a local action group, which stormed the municipal council meeting which was to decide whether vehicles would be allowed on Eleftheria Square, with the council voting against the granting of accessibility to vehicles.
The president of Nicosia municipality’s traffic committee Chrysanthos Faka told Phileftheros on Friday that allegations the decision had already been taken to open the street to vehicles were a misinterpretation of events.
“What is really the case is that Costakis Pantelides was, since ancient times, a street open to vehicles, and only closed for its redevelopment,” Fakas said.
“As such, the decision has stood for years that it is a road, though after all the works that have been conducted and in view of the fact that all comments and propositions of residents, shopkeepers and visitors of the old town of Nicosia will be taken into consideration, the competent authorities must still discuss what will happen on Costakis Pantelides,” Fakas added.