NEWS

Parking during the Games

Although there are less than 130 days to the Olympic Games opening ceremony, not much has yet been done about parking management in a city that will be overflowing with thousands of private cars, buses, and official Olympic limousines. Recently there was an initial attempt to deal with the problem by establishing Restricted Parking Zones around each Olympic venue, where local residents and people working in the area will have to obtain access and parking permits from the Athens 2004 organization. Applications will be collected by the 19 municipalities involved and the deadline is May 15. The parking restrictions will not apply between midnight and 7 a.m. As for the rest of the city, things are likely to be very difficult between August 2 and 31, when special restrictions will be in place. Illegally parked cars will be towed away and special parking rules will apply to Olympic Corridors used by spectators and officials moving between venues. Private cars will be strongly discouraged from approaching Olympic installations and no cars will be allowed to park on the main and secondary Olympic road network. Special emphasis will be given to Olympic lanes and bus lanes. Lifting bans Consideration is being given to lifting the bans for a few hours a day where possible so as not to obstruct life in the city for no reason. However, alternatives have to be provided in appropriate places and at suitable distances from the venues with bus services to and from the stadium. The main factor, however, will be how to change drivers’ mentality during the Games. For example, fines might be increased by means of a special legislative amendment and electronic equipment used to detect violations.