The inauguration for the second phase of the construction of cycling lanes connecting the Universities of Nicosia with the city center occurred on Saturday, beginning with a cycling tour from the University of Nicosia to the Municipal Theater in the center of town. In attendance were the Minister of Transport, Yiannis Karousos and Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yorkatzis, along with a number of cyclists.
The Ministry of Transport said in a press release that the new cycling lanes will be 5.2 km long and the second of four phases of the project (valued at €2.235.000), starting from the Metohi of Kykkos and ending at Solomou Square. The largest part of the route is on the asphalt street and other parts cross through the Municipal Garden of Nicosia or sidewalks. In addition, a 20-meter-long bridge was constructed above Pedieos River for the use of pedestrians and cyclists. The project was partly funded (85%) by the European Union Social Cohesion Fund and partly (15%) by the Republic of Cyprus.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony, Karousos said that “the Ministry aims for bicycles to become part of the citizens’ daily life, as a safe and reliable mean of transport, exercise and recreation”. He explained that the construction of proper infrastructure will hopefully encourage people to choose a more sustainable option for transportation in and around the city. He also noted that encouraging cycling is part of the Ministry’s commitment to decreasing carbon emissions, aiming toward climate-neutral cities by 2050.
Speaking about this particular project, he said that the cycling lanes connecting the Universities to the city center will facilitate daily student transportation, which will reduce the financial burden on their families.
On his behalf, the Mayor of Nicosia, Constantinos Yorkatzis, noted that the Municipality’s vision is for Nicosia to grow into a sustainable city for the benefit of generations to come and he stressed that we need to minimize the city’s environmental footprint by decreasing car emissions. Speaking about the cycling lanes following Pedieos River path, he said that residents of Strovolos and Lakatamia will also benefit as they are now able to bike and easily reach the city center.
The Nicosia Mayor concluded by saying that tenders will be announced soon for the third and fourth phases of the project, which will connect the Kaimakli and Pallouriotissa areas.