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Presenting a New Design for Tseriou Street, Nicosia, Cyprus

Presenting a New Design for Tseriou Street, Nicosia, Cyprus

(Original Article published Kathimerini newspaper 18th July 2019) 

 

“Markides Associates have been commissioned by Strovolos Municipality to undertake a study of Tseriou Street despite the fact that a lot of work has already been undertaken by the relevant authorities on traffic analysis of the street - including movement, congestion, road safety and link-related issues of Tseriou Street.

A presentation took place on July 2019 regarding the new design of Tseriou street which was based on modern approaches in transport design promoting the creation of a better, environmentally friendly place.

During the presentation, the mayor of Strovolos Andreas Papacharalambous, highlighted how Markides Associates considered the distinct local characteristics of the area, local businesses and, above all, the needs of all everyday citizens. He emphasized that Tseriou street should be a lively, vivid road for the people, without, of course, ignoring vehicle users. On the other hand, he also added that the street shouldn’t be just a corridor for cars as it is considered one of the primary arteries to the Strovolos community. With that in mind, Tseriou should be a street that connects communities and people rather than dividing them.

Markides Associates clarified during the presentation that according to this modern approach, apart from the traffic congestion, other criteria are taken into consideration such as the safety of the pedestrians and drivers, decrease in pollution; the creation of a friendly environment but also the commercial growth of the area.”

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Markides Associates’ Spyros Komodromos, has given us the run-down of his experience working on this important project.

Spyros

What were the issues that needed solving?

Various issues regarding the traffic and sustainability of Tseriou street were detected through previous transport studies that took place:

  • Tseriou Street currently acts as movement barrier across it and to/from the adjacent communities, dangerous to cross and dominated by traffic.
  • Conditions for pedestrians are very poor as large parts of the road do not have pavements
  • Lack of street furniture, soft landscaping, street trees
  • Flooding occurs in times of heavy rain
  • No cycling facilities at present
  • Parked cars dominate the Tseriou street scene
  • Uncontrolled junctions lead to uncontrolled entries onto the road which cause serious accidents
  • High speeds leading to fatal/serious accidents
  • Attitudes that prioritise vehicles over other modes

What is being done to solve it?

A design strategy will be implemented taking into consideration both aesthetic and traffic improvements. A few examples of the traffic plans:

  • Minimum 2m clear footway on both sides, preferred 3m
  • Maximise opportunities for tree planting
  • Min 6.5m carriageway – 2 lanes, one in each direction
  • Maintain parking and loading areas wherever possible, but design-out echelon parking unless it can be ‘protected’ by an island
  • No parking on corners
  • Reduce street corner radii to 4 to 6m to facilitate easier pedestrian crossings and slow down turning traffic
  • Right-turn lanes at significant junctions only
  • Cycle parking at hubs.
  • Pinch-points are being resolved.

Most Challenging or interesting part of the project?

The most challenging part of the project has been the on-going debates  regarding the redevelopment of Tseriou Street and dealing with the studies that preceded the project. As it is a key movement corridor, there are many stakeholders involved, with the local people being the most important. It has been a challenge to satisfy everyone’s needs and promote Tseriou Street as a successful “Living Street”, similar to those in other European countries. Living streets (social spaces) are streets designed based on the interests of pedestrians and cyclists instead of just vehicles and it's become a popular approach in Europe, but Cyprus hasn't adapted this yet. 

Can anything be learned from the project that could be useful to other projects?

The main thing to learn from this is that street design in many European and North American cities is changing. The 'Living Streets' philosophy promotes the idea that streets cannot be just conduits for traffic but rather vital arteries to local and wider communities. Markides Associates will implement this design strategy in any upcoming projects like Tseriou Street and will handle the difficulties that occur in the process of promoting this philosophy to diverse stakeholders through consultations.

What’s going to happen next?

We’re now working on the detailed design for Tseirou Street. There’s a lot to do, but we think the results will make a real difference to Nicosia.

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