About two months ago, I wrote an article about the problem that exists at the entrance of Nicosia, which is growing over time.
In addition to the increase in vehicular traffic, we have the matter of the expected new developments served by the same highway.
Apart from the new Jumbo at the Ikea/Mall of Cyprus roundabout, we also have empty spaces for future developments, which will double or triple the need to solve the issue with their progress due to increased motor traffic.
Not only is the issue not being resolved, but it will worsen to the extent that traffic will come to a standstill at a critical artery or junction.
There are various suggestions by numerous interested parties, one of which is the prohibition of new developments that will be served by the highway (not feasible) and the creation of new roads that will partially affect the Athalassa forest (see reactions from environmentalists).
There remains the proposal for creating a tram network, which is also not feasible due to the narrowness of the roads and the impossibility of providing a special lane for this service.
And this, in addition to the need for a subsidy, which, based on a previous government study, due to the lack of interest from customers, will need grants which could reach €40 mln per year (plus the rest of the installation and operational costs).
Unfortunately, we have not learned to use public transport, which is the most serious problem.
As we use the Nicosia entrance highway, note that private cars average 1-2 people per vehicle.
The concept of car-pooling or ride-sharing to cut down on fuel costs or even pollution is nowhere to be seen.
At the same time, creating new parking spaces in the centre of Nicosia (see Old GSP) will encourage rather than discourage the use of the private car for access (Germany adopted the abolition of public parking spaces in city centres to encourage the use of public transport).
The government is trying to find a solution (i.e., different working hours for civil servants).
But it is still difficult for us to think of solutions to reduce the problem, especially with the increase in the immediate future of traffic.
At the same time, large-scale projects within the Nicosia area (Melkonian, Lakkos tou Mikelli, Lemon Park area) do not offer hope.
The problem of access also has its side effects, such as access to the villages of the southern Nicosia region served by the highway, e.g., Latsia, Dali, and Nissou (from which reactions are expected soon).
We also expect an increase in traffic accidents at the two roundabouts (see IKEA/Mall of Cyprus and the one at the General hospital).
So, what is to be done?
Antonis Loizou FRICS – Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Appraisers, Real Estate Sellers & Development Project Managers