In January 2022, the municipality of Athens has seen the start of two large actions to make the sidewalks in Athens more friendly and safe for pedestrians.
The municipality of Athens has installed 830 smart sensors in pedestrian ramps and crossings in order to put an end to illegal and anti-social parking, and improve conditions for walking, especially for people with mobility impairments.
The sensors were placed this month throughout the city centre from Alexandras Avenue, Kolonaki and Omonia to Syntagma, Koukaki and Pagrati. The sensors are able to detect vehicles parked illegally on them. Whenever a vehicle is parked on a pedestrian ramp or crossing equipped with a sensor, the sensor automatically alerts a control centre and sends a message to a mobile device of municipal police officers, who are within a radius of 500 metres from the point of violation.
The Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, said in a statement: “By installing sensors on the crossings and ramps, we seek to put an end to anti-social parking and the indifference and lack of respect towards people with disabilities, the elderly, parents with children. This is the largest preventive parking program ever implemented in the country, and for "a valuable" tool "that strengthens our efforts to ensure accessibility and to transform Athens into a sustainable and functional city: A city without barriers and barriers, which offers equal opportunities to all."
Installation of smart parking sensors is one of several actions the municipality of Athens is implementing to improve conditions for walking. Amongst others, January 2022 also saw the launch of Athen's largest sidewalk restoration project since the 2004 Olympics.
According to the plan, by the summer of 2023, a total of 410 new, modern and safe sidewalks will be completed, which will radically change the appearance of the city. The project, with a budget of 24 million EUR, will see the sidewalks in Athens more friendly and safe for pedestrians by removing obstacles, widening sidewalks, adding greenery and improving the quality of paving. In addition to adding greening, the use of “cold materials” for paving, such as marble, cement slabs and concrete tiles, will help keep the surrounding areas cool during the warm days.
“Athens, day by day, acquires the sidewalks that deserve in a modern metropolis. A city that respects its inhabitants and visitors, offering safety and comfort in their movement, but also a city that respects the environment with actions.” said Bakoyannis, who also stressed the municipality will continue to work in the direction of sustainability and resilience within the city.
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