Capital to get two bicycle lanes by 2010

Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis and Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis yesterday heralded the creation of two bicycle lanes in Athens, one of which would connect the capital to the coastal suburbs, by the end of 2010. The first route will cover 13 kilometers in eastern Athens, connecting Mesogeion Avenue with the university complex in Zografou. The second route is to connect the Panathenaic Stadium in downtown Athens with the Bay of Faliron, weaving through several archaeological sites on the way. The projects have been budgeted at 3.2 million euros. «The aim is to encourage citizens to leave their cars at home and switch to using bicycles,» Hatzidakis said, noting that such a change would curb harmful emissions. Kaklamanis said the City of Athens would launch a program of renting bicycles at metro stations, like those in other European cities.