Wednesday September 3, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
28o C
22o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Campaigning to make Athens a bicycle-friendly city

On Sunday, May 11, Athenian cyclists rode through the capital's center calling for a city that will make space for every bike and pedestrian while reducing the space given over to cars. The campaign was part of an ongoing nationwide effort that this year included at least 40 Greek cities.

Mayors change, claims remain, was the slogan of the ride, which came during the peak of the pre-election period ahead of local and European polls. It was not our intention. We always organize the bicycle ride at the beginning of May. This year it just happened to come around the time of the local elections, Lydia Hatzialexiou, a Cyclists Initiative member and coordinator of the Panhellenic drive, told Kathimerini. Though accidental, the timing of the initiative may help put the issue on the pre-election agenda.

Even though bicycle use has increased in Greece in recent years, the situation has not changed in terms of the state's reaction to our requests, added Hatzialexiou. The same scenario has been playing out for years now: pre-election proclamations in favor of bicycles and then bikes being relegated back to the sidelines and becoming window displays after the election. However, we remain adamant in our claims for what ought to be obvious.

What's obvious is that cyclists should be safe riding on the streets and that for this to happen initiatives have to be taken in terms of creating the infrastructure, educating the public and improving the highway code.

We try to contribute to making sure that bicycle lanes are constructed to the right specifications by participating in discussions at the Transport Ministry. The problem is that many forms of bicycle infrastructure that have been constructed so far have costed more than they needed to, have been done badly and are all over the place, said Hatzialexiou.

The activists also stress the importance of educating the public, especially children, on using a bicycle and getting around bike-friendly cities, as well as ensuring that cyclists are also aware of their obligations (such as making their presence clear with lights and reflectors and abiding by the highway code).

Bicycles are allowed on most modes of public transportation in Athens. However, only four or five bicycles are allowed on each metro or ISAP train. As for buses, it depends on the driver.

It is completely incomprehensible that the state does nothing to help increase the use of bicycles in a country with a climate as warm as Greece. The mass use of bicycles is good for our health, economy and the environment, forming sustainable cities for everyone, stressed Hatzialexiou.

ekathimerini.com , Friday May 16, 2014 (18:28)  
Targeted due to their sexuality
The story of a Kenyan womans escape from genital mutilation
Persecuted by jihadists, Yazidis flee to Greece
Porto Heli wrestles with trash problem over summer
VISUAL ARTS
Aegean gives painter decades worth of inspiration
May 1972. A young man arrives in Athens for a holiday from his hometown Basel, Switzerland, but does not intend to spend too long in the Greek capital as he is headed for the remote southeas...
ARCHITECTURE
The rebirth of one of Athenss 19th-century architectural treasures
I have often daydreamed, if I had the means, which of the many pre-World War II buildings around Athens that have been abandoned and abused I would choose to save. While a tough decision, I...
Inside Life
Inside Travel
Inside Gastronomy
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
2. Maniatis talks energy with Washingtons man in Athens
3. Task force to examine cases of extreme taxation, customs issues
4. Hotels hike prices by 10 pct in H1 of 2014
5. Pension system nears breaking point
6. Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
more news
Today
This Week
1. Poise matters
2. The right decision
3. Politicized archaeology
4. Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
5. Reforms to dominate Greek talks in Paris, debt relief talks later, says source
6. New committee formed to assess progress of deregulation in closed-shop professions
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. The battle against progress
3. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
4. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Prospect of Greek grand prix back on the agenda; huge investment needed
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.