By 2024, 262 Nicosia streets will have been transformed though the municipality’s projects, which will amount to a total value of 39 million, mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis said on Wednesday.
In a press conference, he said that from 2015 to today, the municipality has completed 13 sidewalk construction projects in the capital’s neighbourhoods, with more projects pending for the next year.
In this time, projects will have covered a length of 49km of roads, the creation of sidewalks with a total length of 92km, and the installation of rainwater pipes with a total length of 47km, the mayor said.
Upgrading the quality of life of the Nicosia’s citizens through the creation of a safe traffic environment, with parking spaces, underground services and an extensive rainwater drainage network that reduces the risk of flooding, has always been among the municipality’s priorities, he said.
“The most important issue for us is the fact that, although the legislation provides for the charging of all works to the owners, municipality, by decision of the municipal council in 2013, decided to bear the majority of the expense, significantly reducing the amount for the owners to pay,” he added.
An important parameter is the interconnection of sidewalks with the central avenues leading to the city centre, such as Kyriacou Matsi, Kallipoleos, Kennedy, and part of Larnacos, Yiorkadjis added.
“But our efforts continue,” he said, adding that he first step in sustainable mobility and development is to start walking.
“Our ultimate goal is that citizens, visitors to our city, people with mobility issues, children and elderly people, can travel safely and live in a beautiful and safe environment”, he stressed.
Nicosia municipality’s chief engineer Dinos Logides said that with the addition of three new contracts, for which funds have been secured, the total investment will go up to €45 million.
Logides said that through these projects, the expansion of the water drainage network has solved Nicosia’s chronic issue of flooding.
At the same time, tweaks in the road network, like making some streets one-way and creating parking strips has contributed to order and more safety for motorists, but also for people in wheelchairs.
“What we want are cities that we can walk in, not just drive in,” paraplegic association head Demetris Lambrianides, who was present at the meeting, said.
“There cannot be quality of life in a city without sidewalks that give uninterrupted access and safety to pedestrians, especially people with mobility issues such as people with disabilities, the elderly, children and parents with prams,” he said.
Lambrianides thanked the mayor and the municipal council for this initiative, expressing the hope that other municipalities would follow suit.