Aglantzia municipality has given the public a chance to voice their opinion on a project to update an existing road which dissects Athalassa park.
“As with any project there are pros and cons but for us it is very important for it to be done with transparency,” Charalambos Petrides, mayor of Aglantzia, told the Cyprus Mail on Monday.
Approved by the previous city council in 2015, the project aims to expand an existing road and exit towards the Nicosia general hospital and the mall.
The proposed road will be 12m wide (two lanes) and the construction will affect 31 trees and will connect Omirou street and Fytoriou street.
Petrides highlighted that there are four main conditions for the project. They include: a cycle lane (so as to connect with the wider network), two lanes instead of four, exclusion of heavy vehicles and to remove a northern widening of the road which would go further through the park (which was originally planned).
As for the objectives of the project, Petrides explained that the area has been subjected to significant traffic loads in recent years. In this sense, he said that the project should be seen in the wider context of easing congestion in Nicosia.
He acknowledged that reducing traffic loads cannot be accomplished solely by new projects, but part of the solution is also wider use of public transport and cycling.
As for the municipality’s strive for transparency, he noted that the entire plan has been published online and public consultations are expected in the coming months.
“I have requested a meeting with the transport and interior ministers to discuss the matter further,” he said.
A preliminary poll to gauge the public’s reaction to the project, after 1500 votes, shows 53 per cent are against the upgraded road.
Proponents of the road praise reduced travel times in the usually congested area, while opponents say it would encroach upon valuable green areas.