Athens traffic back with a vengeance after lockdown hiatus

Athens traffic back with a vengeance after lockdown hiatus

The volume of traffic in downtown Athens has not only returned to 2019 levels but has also exceeded them by more than 50% in some parts of the Greek capital during the morning rush hour, a report published on Tuesday by the Attica Regional Authority has shown.

The report presents traffic circulation data for 20 key arteries leading into and out of central Athens and Piraeus between May 18, 2020 – when Greece came out of its first strict nationwide lockdown – and May 17 this year. 

It also compares these figures to May 2019, finding that traffic volume during the 7-10 a.m. rush hour has increased, on average, by 5.2% compared with last year and 5.6% against 2019.

Compared with May 2020, the steepest rise, reaching 54%, was recorded on the southbound section of Kifissias Avenue leading from Athens’ northern suburbs into the city center. This was followed by Athinon Avenue, with an increase of 34% in inbound traffic and 29% on the outbound lanes. Coastal Poseidonos Avenue, meanwhile, has seen traffic headed towards the port of Piraeus spike by 28%.

The picture was slightly different in comparison with 2019, with the biggest increase in traffic volume (32%) this May recorded on Ardittou – a short stretch that acts as a link between bigger roads like Syngrou, Kallirois, Vouliagmenis, Vassilissis Olgas and Vassileos Konstantinou. 

The Athens-bound sections of Athinon and Kifissas avenues ranked second and third at 31% and 17% respectively, with the southbound lanes of Vassilissis Sofias seeing a rise of 16% and Petrou Ralli of 12%.

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