Municipal police in Athens to start bicycle patrols

Municipal police officers are to start patrolling the streets of Athens on bicycles after Orthodox Easter as part of a campaign to reinforce a crackdown on motorists illegally accessing pedestrianized areas and to encourage more Athenians to take up cycling.

Two years after the idea was first broached by the bicycle-riding television presenter-turned municipal councilor Giorgos Amyras, municipal employees on Wednesday had their first meeting with representatives of the Hellenic Cycling Federation.

Of the dozens of candidates that reportedly expressed an interest in joining the cycling patrols, 20 were chosen. Their practical training is to begin today with practice patrols in busy no-car zones including Dionysiou Areopagitou Street and the neighborhood of Plaka.

Amyras said the scheme would likely catch on quickly. “Athenians know more about the proper use of bicycles than we think,” he told Kathimerini.