Mayor of Athens: "The attitude of citizens towards the city must change"

In just the past two months, the municipal police of the Greek capital recorded 92,000 violations, including traffic rules.

Law enforcement officers cite banal neglect as the reasons – vehicle owners, for example, without any remorse, park in front of ramps for the disabled, blocking the way for mothers with strollers and people with disabilities. Of the total number of violators, more than 700 did just that.

Thousands of two-wheelers were found parked on sidewalks or illegally crossing pedestrian streets – Ermou, Apostol Paul and others. Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis says:

“Free and easy access to the center and districts of Athens is an issue that is inextricably linked to the quality of life in the city. Athens has been lagging behind in terms of accessibility for many years, turning the movement of citizens to the center and quarters into “Golgotha”. As a municipal body, we adhere to a two-way strategies.The first is to create the necessary infrastructure in the city, the second is to take deterrent measures to combat the abuse of public space and antisocial behavior.However, in order to radically change this image and live in an environment hospitable to all, one of our interventions, of course, not enough. We also need to change the attitude of the citizens themselves towards the city. This means that it should be taken for granted that we should all respect the public space and the needs of our fellow citizens.”

From May 1 to July 7, the municipal police recorded 91,703 violations by vehicle owners:

  • 754 parked in front of or on disabled ramps;
  • 3,419 car license plates were removed for illegal parking;
  • 11,379 fines were issued to owners of two-wheelers;
  • 600 for two-wheelers entering the commercial triangle of Athens (pedestrian zone);
  • 7,740 two-wheelers were parked on the sidewalks;
  • 1,616 two-wheelers passed on sidewalks and pedestrian streets.

The municipal police, together with the traffic police, carried out 106 demolitions with a crane. But inspections and fines have extended to the restaurant sector, as at least 160 establishments were found to have music in excess of 80 decibels in 291 inspections. At the moment, 26 stores have been sealed, Gazi is the leader in this list. Another 140 stores were sued.

During the same period, municipal police officers carried out 1,450 checks for illegal table setting on the streets. In 55 cases, equipment was confiscated because the stores were breaking the law. Eight of them had their public space licenses revoked for six months, as required by law. Deputy Mayor for Municipal Police and Public Spaces Vassilis Koromantsos says:

“We will continue the checks that we carry out in all areas of our responsibility. We called for recruitment. We made requests. Once the municipal police had 1,150 people, and today it is 420, but nevertheless we continue to make efforts. In the summer we pay special attention to soundproofing and freeing public space from squatters and even motorcycles on the sidewalks.”

Athens applies strict standards for ramps, markings and guides for people with disabilities in all city redevelopment projects. Recently were created 4 routes for the visually impaired and 4 more for people with limited mobility. In different parts of the city, more than 830 sensors are installed on the ramps, which notify the municipal police of the need to immediately apply the necessary sanctions. It is planned that this measure will be extended to other areas of Athens, writes newsbeast.gr.



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