Shop keepers on Makarios III Avenue in Nicosia are up in arms over the government’s decision to ban cars as of October 20 in a bid to make the capital’s centre greener, Philenews reports.
They argue that the once bustling Makarios Avenue which is now accessible only to buses, supply vehicles and emergency services as well as local shopkeepers and residents is turning into a dead road.
The protesters also told a parliamentary committee on Thursday that the Transport Ministry’s bid to correlate the pedestrianization of Makarios Avenue with the design model of Champs-Élysées in Paris and Oxford Street in London is laughable.
Because, they also argued, there is a road confusion and drivers don’t know from where they can enter and exit the area.
The shopkeepers demand a two-way traffic to be allowed on Makarios Avenue and at the same time the completion of construction works in the area to be speeded up.
A number of shops have already shut down because it is very difficult for the public to have access to them, they said.
In addition to the psychological pressure of customers who do not know how to move around in the area, there are also very limited parking spaces as well, they added.
Initial pedestrianization plans following Makariou’s renovation and facelift last December were postponed because road works in the surrounding roads were incomplete.