Piecemeal measures like ‘giving an aspirin to someone with gangrene’

Traffic engineer Professor Yiannis Golias suggests specific steps to solve the city’s parking problems. «Every new policy should be aimed at curbing the unrestricted entry of private cars into the city center in a way that will not have a negative effect on business activity,» he said. «Priority should be given to residents’ parking needs.» «It is obviously important that the problem should be managed by one single organization. Until there is a single metropolitan organization for the capital, these policies should be decided and enacted with the participation of all relevant organizations in central and local government.» He added that it was important that there should be satisfactory alternative means of public transport. «There should be specific qualitative goals and priorities related to the timing of these measures. Any construction of off-road parking in central areas such as Kaningos Square, or installing parking meters by street rather than by district, without any comprehensive plan, is like giving an aspirin to someone with gangrene,» he said. Professor Giorgos Yiannopoulos of Thessaloniki University suggests the problem is not the ownership of private cars, but their overuse due to an inadequate public transport system. «The implementation of any strategic plan presupposes the existence of a body with overall responsibility which will assign spaces to private individuals. At the same time, each municipality should have a special service to organize parking. It goes without saying that all areas should be properly policed and transgressors fined.»