Olympic traffic curbs on Aug.1

The obstacle course, endurance test and traffic slalom in which all Athenians will compete during the Olympics will begin officially on August 1 when new restrictions come into effect for the Games. For a start, the measure whereby cars circulate in the center on odd-numbered days if their license plates end in odd numbers, and on even-numbered days with even-numbered plates, will be in effect this August, unlike previous years. This might be extended to a much larger area known as the Olympic Ring if traffic proves too heavy during the Games, a meeting of senior government and Olympic officials decided yesterday. Other measures include a lane on the Marathon Route that will be used exclusively by the Olympic Family, like the lanes set aside on most of Athens’s avenues. The government again appealed to Athenians to use public transport during the Games. The Athens 2004 Organizing Committee unveiled a program to decorate Athens with 20,000 flags and cover eight particularly ugly buildings with huge colorful photographs.