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Poll: Athens Grand Walk Project Disappoints Residents

An impression of the “Grand Walk” project.

The “Megalos Peripatos” or “Grand Walk” – a 6.8km pedestrian walkway aiming to unify Athens’ archaeological sites and landmarks and create bicycle lanes, has failed to win over the Greek capital’s residents, a survey released this week found.

Carried out by the Panteion University of Athens and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the poll reveals that 87.8 percent of people who live or work in central Athens were “not at all” or “only slightly” happy with the project, which started last summer and was set to be completed by 2022.

The survey was conducted on a sample of 1,108 people. The vast majority (89.4 percent) said it was poorly designed, while 89.3 percent said their needs had not been taken into account or met.

Overall, respondents awarded the quality of the intervention a score of 2.72 on a scale of 10. 

Photo Source: @GrandWalk of Athens

One in three said the project did not create additional problems but had not solved any either, with 55 percent claiming it did not reduce traffic in the city center.

On a positive note, 25.4 percent of respondents said they were pleased with the increase in public space.

“The two main priorities for residents are upgrading public transport and improving accessibility,” said Dionysis Latinopoulos, a professor heading the survey.

“The increase of free space seems to be particularly important, with new walkways or with the widening of sidewalks,” he said, adding that the municipal authority should consider including the public in its consultation process.

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