The nightmare of traffic congestion has returned to the streets of Athens

Buses and monitoring the bus lanes will provide a solution to the traffic problem in Athens.

Traffic congestion is not a Greek phenomenon, as European cities are even more congested. Traffic congestion stretches for 25-50 km for someone to enter the city in all European metropolitan areas and this has been the case for decades. The problem is neither Kifissos nor what will happen with congestion. The problem lies in how commuters will be served, how alternative Public Transport will be provided to them, so that they can reach their destinations more quickly. Everyone should understand that with private cars, they will never go faster, no matter how many roads we build for them. It is worth noting that this situation we see in Greece existed in the 1970s in the United States, where they added another 5 traffic lanes (becoming 10 and 10), and after 5 years, the 10 lanes were congested again.

Can we compel commuters to use Public Transport when it is not so reliable in terms of both schedule and breakdowns?

Of course not; that’s precisely why transportation engineers say the discussion should focus on pressuring the government to improve Public Transport, rather than pressuring the government to find a solution to traffic that is unsolvable. Traffic congestion will always exist. Nevertheless, not all buses are full or dirty at all times. There are several cases where this bad reputation about buses has been created, which is a reality.

The keys to the problem are held by the Traffic Police. If bus lanes were policed by the parked and illegally circulating vehicles, the same number of buses would make twice as many trips, so more than twice the number of commuters would be accommodated, as the primary criterion for most people in choosing their mode of transportation is time. If the Traffic Police place greater emphasis on bus lanes and we take better care of the buses, both in terms of the frequency of their routes and cleanliness, everyone will move more quickly and under better conditions.

The tram and other fixed route Public Transport

Concerning the considerations that having another fixed route Public Transport might improve the situation or that the tram, which was introduced, did not yield the expected results, the response is immediate. According to the Professor, the tram is not a sustainable choice, and the backbone of Public Transport in a metropolis like Athens should be the metro, with 8 metro lines and the rest of the network operating with buses. The tram has a very small percentage and is not a subject of discussion. The priority is for the completion of Line 4 and the other lines, as Athens needs 8 metro lines in the coming years. Until then, as in many cities with buses, better service can be provided when they have priority. Allowing uncontrolled parking anywhere in the city both hinders buses and leads all vehicles to park in the city center.

Τhe operation of the Attiki Odos may have provided some relief to traffic, but recently, we see that even the Attiki Odos is congested. This is because there are many cars. It is evident that with so many small businesses in Greece, people want to travel in different directions, meaning that those using Kifissos may be heading to 15 different areas. It is extremely difficult to solve the traffic problem when commuters do not have a bus stop, tram station, or metro station nearby.

The bus will solve the problem of Kifissos

The science of Transportation Engineers, despite having 10 million Transportation Engineers in Greece, is complex, providing solutions to complex issues and the direction is one. Only Public Transport will provide a solution for better service and we should manage traffic with transportation on the one hand and parking management on the other. And it’s not just the center of Athens; it’s all the centers of the municipalities in Attica.

Ηow Kifisos will stop being “red” from morning until evening every day?

Many commuters will take the bus from Marousi to the city center without passing through Kifissos via Kifissia Avenue, since with dedicated bus lanes, we can guarantee a total travel time from Marousi to the center in 16 minutes by bus at 8:00 in the morning. This is supported by existing data, as in November, with the current monitoring of bus lanes, bus speeds increased by 50% within a month.

It would be interesting to examine whether the number of people using the bus with clear bus lanes doubled within a month and if the number of cars decreased accordingly. The important thing is that the bus lanes should remain clear for more than a month so that we can draw such conclusions.

Finally, systematic effort should be made by government, scientists and journalists in order to highlight that the issue is to police parking and assist buses, rather than trying to find solutions for Kifissos and other major arteries, which will always lead to a deadlock.

Interview on the broadcast Oi Atairiastoi on the Skai tv channel in January 2024

By | 2024-04-29T10:14:06+00:00 January 9th, 2024|Categories: General|

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