Around two months ago I wrote an article about the traffic problem that exists coming into Nicosia from the highway, which is getting worse over time.
In addition to the increase in vehicular traffic, there are new developments expected which will be served by the same highway, like the new Jumbo to open at the Ikea/Mall of Cyprus roundabout. There are also the empty spaces for future developments, which will double or triple the need to solve the issue.
Not only is the issue not being resolved, but it will worsen to the extent that traffic will come to a standstill.
There have been various suggestions by numerous interested people. One is the prohibition of new developments that will be served by the highway. This is not feasible. The suggestion of creating new roads that will affect the Athalassa forest was met with strong reactions from environmentalists and others.
There remains the proposal for the creation of a tram network. This is also not feasible due to the narrow roads not allowing room for a special lane for this service. In addition such a project would need to be subsidised. Based on a previous government study, due to the lack of interest from customers, grants needed could reach approximately €40 million per year.
Unfortunately, we have not learned to use mass transportation and that in itself is the most serious problem. We all drive private cars, which usually carry only one or two people at time.
The creation of new parking spaces in the centre, such as at GSP, will encourage rather than discourage the use of the private car to come into town. Meanwhile, Germany abolished public parking spaces in city centres to encourage the use of public transport.
The state is trying to find solutions, such as introducing the varied working hours for civil servants, but it is still difficult to think of real solutions to reduce the problem, especially as traffic in increasing as time goes on.
The problem also affects access to the southern Nicosia areas served by the highway, such as Latsia, Dali, Nissou and so on.
So, what do we do?
Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Valuers, Estate Agents & Property Consultants, www.aloizou.com.cy, [email protected] FRICS