Drive to clear city sidewalks

Following last month’s crackdown on Athens jaywalkers, as of next week traffic police will launch a campaign to make life easier for the capital’s pedestrians, removing the obstacles that are forcing Athenians off the narrow, slippery pavements onto the streets. Attica Traffic Police Chief Constantinos Tzekis told Kathimerini that the worst offenders are motorcycle owners who treat the central Athens pavements as a vast parking lot, shops that fill the sidewalks with advertising signs and flowerpots, as well as kiosk owners who expand their premises far beyond the legal limits. Tzekis said the campaign to clear central Athens pavements would start in November, in cooperation with regular and municipal police officers. But he criticized the Athens municipal authorities for having broken past promises to create special motorbike parking areas which would help reduce illegal parking on pavements. Tzekis said 449 Athens pedestrians have been fined so far for jaywalking.