The mayor of Athens is looking for those responsible for the failure "Big walk"


The mayor of Athens, K. Bakoyannis, has filed a lawsuit against a contractor involved in the construction works of the “Great Walk” in the center of Athens, due to … constant construction on Panepistimiou Street.

The vast majority of Athenians who live or work in the Greek capital are dissatisfied with the famous “Great Athens Walk”, a project to create pedestrian and bicycle zones in the city center that turned out to be a big failure. Two polls conducted by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Pantheon University in Athens showed that the project did not live up to citizens’ expectations. 87.8% of respondents out of 1108 people stated that they were “not at all satisfied” with the intervention or “slightly satisfied”. In addition, 89.4% said that the “Great Walk” in Athens was “poorly designed”, while 89.3% protested that their needs were not taken into account.

The publicized project, which was decided by the mayor of Athens himself, has now turned into a disgusting sight, nothing resembling a “promenade”. Monstrous concrete building blocks, withered plants, dirt and desolation create the image of a former “promenade” that was destroyed before construction was completed.

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The central street of Athens – Panepistimiou has been in this state for almost 2 years


As you know, work on this central street of Athens stalled for some time, as during its development there were problems with the electric and gas networks located under the sidewalks, which were torn out to increase the width.

Their discovery, in addition to feeling that a major project began with an incomplete or sloppy study of the existing urban infrastructure, led to both the relocation of networks and the further maintenance of the construction site. According to the initial estimates of the municipal authorities, work on the university site between America and Chin Streets should have been completed in March last year … But negligence seems to permeate the project at all its stages, with the risk of bringing “great anguish” or even injury to the passer-by ( and not only psychological).

Ο ξεβαμμένος περίπατος και η επίθεση από κάμπιεν στον Οα

DEDDIE entrusted part of the work to a private contractor, against whom the mayor filed a lawsuit (!) For a project that he himself … inspired and tried to implement with the money of the townspeople. “After checking by municipal services, it was found that the work was carried out with insufficient security measures, as a result of which pedestrians moved near open pits, and earthworks were carried out without proper preparatory work and endangered their performers,” Mr. Bakoyannis’ decision to file action against all those responsible to the prosecutor of Athens.

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The photograph, taken by a responsible municipal service team, shows a crowd of people crossing a narrow sidewalk next to dug earth, without showing that any measures were taken to prevent an accident, such as a person falling into a dug hole.

According to the municipal services document, the contractors of the various companies operating in Athens have been informed “both in writing and orally” of their obligations in this regard. However, in this case, the site did not have “the required information plate with information about the contractor.”

After completion of work on this section of Panepistimiou (from America to Sina), work will continue before the Athens trilogy (Academy, University, Library) and then on the rest of the section towards Omonia.

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Opposite the university, “useful” plants for students grow in flowerpots


According to the municipal authorities, … the “re-planning” of Panepistimiou will be completed by Easter (they didn’t specify what year by Easter…). But as the timeline stretches far beyond its capacity, councilors for the municipal opposition are predicting further delays, suggesting the project is slated to be completed closer to the local elections (October 2023). In the case of Syntagma Square, their predictions did not materialize…

All this leads to the fact that the project resembles the Titanic, which, despite the fact that the decision to build it was made by Bakoyannis himself, is steadily sinking, and now the mayor of Athens is looking for … those responsible to relieve himself of responsibility.

How much did the “Big Walk” cost the city of Athens? According to the publication ieidiseis.gr, it cost the city budget 2 million euros. At the same time, 5,000 euros were paid for each flowerpot, and 5,700 euros for each bench. The real market value of such flowerpots and benches is about 100 euros. Monthly maintenance of flowerpots costs the city budget more than 112 thousand euros. Naturally, friends of the Bakoyanni family received “delicious” contracts.

The vast majority of Athenians who live or work in the Greek capital are dissatisfied with the famous “Great Athens Walk”, a project to create pedestrian and bicycle zones in the city center that turned out to be a big failure. Two polls conducted by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Pantheon University in Athens showed that the project did not live up to citizens’ expectations. 87.8% of respondents out of 1108 people stated that they were “not at all satisfied” with the intervention or “slightly satisfied”. In addition, 89.4% said that the “Great Walk” in Athens was “poorly designed”, while 89.3% protested that their needs were not taken into account.

One in three said that the “Big Walk” did not create big problems in the city center, but did not solve the existing ones either. Only 18% of respondents said the project helped reduce traffic, while 55% say the interventions did not reduce traffic in central Athens. The largest number of positive responses (25.4%) was on whether the “Great Athens Walk” increased public space.

PS The author, cycling this section of the road almost daily, prefers to ride on the carriageway, but not to call on the so-called. “bike path”. There are 2 reasons for this:

Reason 1. The terrible state of the asphalt on the bike path, because before profiling it from the roadway, they did not bother to patch up holes and dents in the asphalt. Therefore, driving on it is a real pleasure. And there is no point in talking about cheap yellow paint, which a year later turned into yellow-gray.

Reason 2. Despite the prohibitions, the bike path has become a permanent place for parking vehicles. In addition, due to illiterate planning, all stops are located between the path and the sidewalk, as a result, public transport passengers constantly stand on the bike path, closing it for travel.

One in three said that the “Big Walk” did not create big problems in the city center, but did not solve the existing ones either. Only 18% of respondents said the project helped reduce traffic, while 55% say the interventions did not reduce traffic in central Athens. The largest number of positive responses (25.4%) was on whether the “Great Athens Walk” increased public space.



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