The ambitious Grand Walk project is “moving in the right direction” but it needs to expand its reach outside the centre of Athens by improving public transport and access for cyclists and the disabled, the Association of Greek Transport Planners said in a press release on Friday.
The association proposes upgrading the public transport system, creating pedestrian and bicycle lanes to and from the center of Athens, taking measures to protect vulnerable groups of users (such as pedestrians, the disabled, cyclists) and improving parking management.
“It is not enough to implement measures that concern only the central section [of the city]. [It requires] the gradual and systematic implementation of basic complementary measures,” it said.
It also added that the project “should have been attempted at least a decade ago,” with the implementation of the plan to unify Athens’ archeological sites.
The Grand Walk aims to create an extensive network in Athens for pedestrians and bicycles in the city centre that will free up 50,000 square meters of space, create 2,000 parking spots for motorcycles and 12 taxi stands, and speed up bus services.
In its pilot-testing this week, the changes in available lanes caused traffic jams across the city center.