NEWS

Other measures are needed to solve traffic problems

That the Attiki Odos – with or without toll posts – is necessary is demonstrated by the numbers of vehicles that use it: 40,000 a day before the new stretch opened and 100,000 afterward. But while traffic has been siphoned away from congested areas such as Maroussi, Halandri and Neo Iraklion, it has increased on roads leading to and from highway entrances and exits (Pendelis and Irakleiou avenues, for example). Central Athens districts have not seen any benefits yet. One road, however, is not likely to solve all traffic problems. For Giorgos Yannis, the issue now is to make use of the Attiki Odos so that decongestion stays permanent. To this end: Municipalities, YPEHODE and the authorities need to upgrade and properly manage the rest of the road network, especially around the highway entrances and exits, which are expected to become blocked with traffic. Municipalities should take advantage of this unique opportunity to ensure that fresh traffic does not fill up newly unencumbered stretches of roadway. Attiki Odos should be incorporated into an overall transportation planning scheme (nowadays conspicuous by its absence) which will promote public transport. Otherwise, the highway will be used by an ever-growing number of drivers, with the result that in the medium term (three to five years), it will be jammed during rush hour.