NEWS

City Hall heralds crackdown on cars in Thiseio

City Hall on Wednesday said it would take measures to keep vehicles off pedestrian walkways in the central Athens district of Thiseio including the erection of several mobile barriers and ?constant? patrols by municipal police.

The aim of the ?advanced, specialized action plan? — to be implemented from Thursday — is to safeguard popular pedestrianized streets in the area between Thiseio and under the Acropolis including Apostolou Pavlou, Dionysiou Areopagitou and the southern section of Ermou.

Crowd-control barriers are to be installed at the intersections of Ermou with several thoroughfares including Aghion Asomaton and Pireos, at the junctions of Apostolou Pavlou with Eptahalkou and Loubadiari streets and the intersections of Dionysiou Areopagitou with the Philopappou ring road and Amalias Street.

The area will also be patrolled ?constantly? by police, according to a municipal press release which said that only emergency vehicles (police cars, ambulances and fire engines) would have unrestricted access to the area. Vehicles supplying local businesses will only be allowed to access the area during specified business supply hours (7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.).

The aim of the initiative is to ?free up illegally occupied public space, reinstate the operation of the city?s pedestrian walkways, allow pedestrians unhindered and safe passage through these areas and improve citizens? living conditions and day-to-day lives,? a City Hall statement said.

The announcement came a day after the Health Ministry said it would set up borrow-a-bike points in Thiseio and other parts of the historic center to promote environmentally friendly transportation and sport.