NEWS

This is the way the traffic will (not) go

A far-reaching network of traffic and parking arrangements around Olympic venues for the period from August 2 to August 31 was announced at the beginning of April by Athens 2004, the organizing committee for the Games. All residents and workers in the two traffic and parking zones round Games venues will have to secure a special sticker to enable them to enter or park in those areas. The special arrangements were presented at a press conference by chief operating officer of Athens 2004, Marton Simitsek, together with the general manager for coordination with local government, Athanassios Kantartzis, and general manager of transportation, Panayiotis Protopsaltis. Controlled Access and Circulation Zones (CACZ) and Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) will apply around every facility. In CACZ, access and circulation are permitted only to cars and two-wheelers with a special Vehicle Access and Parking Permit. In the CPZ, circulation is free for all cars and two-wheelers, but only those issued with the special Vehicle Access and Parking Permit are allowed to park. This comes in the form of a sticker that must be clearly displayed on the vehicle’s windscreen. Access and parking permits will be issued by Athens 2004, but the 19 municipalities hosting Olympic venues will be responsible for the paperwork. Given the damning observations recently made by Greece’s ombudsman, the Citizen’s Advocate, on the way municipal services function, many wonder whether this will pan out. In any case, anyone living or working in the two zones must have submitted the requisite documents to the municipal authorities by May 15 at the latest in order to acquire the permit. Residents must submit a photocopy of any document furnishing proof that their permanent place of residence is located within the zones (e.g. telephone, electricity or water bills, along with an identity card or passport, etc.). They are also required to declare the registration number of the private vehicle or two-wheeler that they use. Workers in the zones need to furnish a photocopy of any document serving as proof that their place of work lies within a CACZ or CPZ (e.g. employer’s certificate, work contract, pay receipt, etc.). In addition, they need to declare the number of vehicles or two-wheelers they use. Special arrangements for CAPZ and CPZ will not apply between the hours of midnight and 7 a.m. (depending on the competition schedule). Deliveries to stores and businesses must be made at night (from midnight to 7 a.m.). Street vendors, street markets, festivals or other events will not be permitted. Traffic-flow measures in Athens as a whole and the campaign to inform people of the special arrangements during the Olympic Games will be unveiled in mid-May.