Protaras Strip is a a busy tourist commercial and entertainment corridor that has undergone a full urban rejuvenation with traffic calming in the context of a government comprehensive town-planning traffic management scheme.
Background & Objectives
Protaras is a major seaside tourist resort in Cyprus, located off the coast of Famagusta and is part of the Ayia Napa-Protaras urban tourist complex. The area is of great economic importance, given the fact that tourism is the number one contributor to the nation’s GDP.
Bustling Protaras Strip accommodates the majority of the area’s hotels and tourist apartments but is also the core of commercial and entertainment activity (shops, restaurants, pubs, etc). This growing mixed land-use pattern produces increasing everyday travel demands for various road user groups. The Strip has very high auto-based access demands but also serves as a local connector street as well as a pedestrian and bus route.
The importance of balancing the above activities/ functions in the sense of creating a sustainable environment for pedestrians (tourist and local) to safely enjoy the amenities of the Strip as well as satisfying the need for automobile access and parking, was soon recognized by the authorities (both government and local) which have recently carried out a comprehensive traffic calming and management scheme along the entire length of the Strip. The performed traffic measures include the following:
- Shift from two-way to one-way low-capacity street
- Upgrading of the two T-junctions of the Strip with the Ayia Napa-Protaras main road (traffic signal installation, geometry and signing/ marking improvements, pedestrian signal addition)
- Full change of surface materials across the entire roadway width and length, from asphalt concrete pavement and concrete-tiled sidewalks to smooth-surface multicolor concrete-stone-blocks
- Extended sidewalk widening>
- All junctions of the Strip with beach and hotel access-roads were raised to the level of the sidewalk and pedestrian crossings were incorporated to all directions
- Construction of raised zebra-crossings
- Speed-limit reduction from 50kph to 30kph. (Actual reduction of speed, without any need for enforcement support, was achieved through the densely located raised junctions, as described above)
- Signing improvements
- Modern street-lighting installation
- Improved sheltered bus-stops with bus lay-bys
- Construction of central high-capacity parking facility with two single-direction access points (entry access from the Strip and exit/entry to/from the Ayia Napa-Protaras main road)
- Addition of on-street short-term taxi and commercial vehicle parking lay-bys
- Creation of a small central square with a mini theater and a fountain.
Today, tourists and locals of Protaras Strip enjoy a truly safe and pedestrian-friendly environment with zero-accident rates. Pedestrian, car and bus traffic peacefully coexist within a uniquely vibrant commercial and entertainment urban setting. The area’s ever-increasing tourist numbers are evidently a sound proof of this success-story.
Updates as of 2011: although there have been no recent devleopments on the Strip, roadside land-use developments (restaurants, hotels, pubs, shops, etc.) have sprouted up at least partially due to the Protaras Strip development.
A costal combined walkway and cyle-way along the beach has also recently been opened to the public and is especially popular.
Both projects have helped in tourist growth in the area, making the Strip the second biggest (if not the busiest) destination in southeast Cyprus (after Ayia Napa).