Athens walk­ways are a step away

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Plans are well un­der way for two key roads in cen­tral Athens to be pedes­tri­an­ized and for the tram to run from the city cen­ter to Kato Patis­sia, a high-rank­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial re­vealed yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing to Skai TV, En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry gen­eral sec­re­tary Maria Kalta said that the gov­ern­ment in­tends over the next few days to launch an in­ter­na­tional ten­der for the pedes­tri­an­iza­tion of Panepis­ti­mou Street, which con­nects Athens’s two main squares: Syn­tagma and Omo­nia.

She added that ar­chi­tects and civil en­gi­neers are due to com­plete soon the study for pedes­tri­an­iza­tion of Vas­silis­sis Ol­gas Street, also in the city cen­ter, as part of plans to cre­ate a ve­hi­cle-free zone in the city cen­ter that would al­low res­i­dents and vis­i­tors to walk unob­structed be­tween var­i­ous an­cient sites, the Zappeio Hall, the Pana­thenaic Sta­dium and the Na­tional Gar­dens.

Kalta said that the projects would not stop there and that the min­istry is ex­am­in­ing plans to re­de­velop sev­eral squares in cen­tral Athens neigh­bor­hoods, such as Aghios Pan­telei­monas, where racial ten­sions have been run­ning high over the past cou­ple of years due to some res­i­dents and ex­trem­ist op­pos­ing the large pres­ence of im­mi­grants. The min­istry of­fi­cial said that prepara­tory work on the ex­ten­sion of the tram line to Kato Patis­sia would also be­gin soon.

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