No traffic measures in Solari until the Decentralised Administration’s approval
CORFU. Controlled stopping will be possible for about 300 vehicles at certain parts.
The measure of controlled stopping at certain parts on both sides of the Eth. Paleokastritsa Rd. in Solari cannot be implemented until the Peloponnese, Western Mainland and Ionian Decentralised Administration’s approval.
Deputy Regional Governor for Infrastructure & Technical Works Manolis Orphanoudakis told Enimerosi that the request was submitted in October to the Service, following a decision of the Ionian Islands Regional Council and specified that, if approved, there will be the possibility of temporary stopping for about 300 vehicles in both sides of the road at specific parts.
“This road is governed by the Decentralised Administration as a secondary national road network and any change in traffic regulations should be decided by the Decentralised Administration. We are still under construction status and we are waiting for their response so that we can immediately and quickly implement the new legal status for controlled stopping.
However, if the Decentralised Administration does not approve the temporary measures we have requested, it will cause a problem, as the stopping and parking prohibition will have to be fully implemented along the entire length of the road in both directions. If this is applied, 1/3 of the businesses will close, because there will be no parking space,” said Mr. Orphanoudakis, estimating that the Decentralised Administration will respond within the next 5-6 months.
Based on the proposal submitted to the Decentralised Administration, there are two parts in each side of the road, where controlled stopping will be allowed for about 300 vehicles. On the side leading out of town, one is about 500 metres and the other 300 metres, while on the side leading into town the first one is 250 metres and the second one 400 metres.
The Traffic Police
The point, however, is whether the implementation of the measure can be monitored, in case it is approved by the Decentralised Administration. “We are waiting to see what the decision will provide for and then we will look into it. However, these are time-consuming procedures. Solari has specific characteristics. At this time, however, there are no problems in the area, as there is not much traffic since November 1,” Corfu Traffic Police Chief Konstantinos Vlachopoulos told Enimerosi.
The area in Solari has been classified as a highway, which practically means that stopping and parking is prohibited along the entire length of the road. However, it has become an extension of the urban part of the town and an important commercial centre, but with no provision for parking spaces. Thus, the prohibition measure was not implemented, making life difficult for drivers, especially during the tourist season.
Therefore, the Ionian Islands Region took the initiative to solve the traffic problem in the area by recording traffic data in August, in order to draw conclusions and implement the appropriate measures. This was preceded by interventions completed in 2019 with asphalt surfaces, road separation, traffic island, traffic lights and street lighting at the Koyevina, Kefalomantouko and Potamos junctions. However, in order for the project to be handed over and start operating, the necessary traffic regulations must be approved.
“The Technical Works Department has tried to make a comprehensive assessment of the existing situation with traffic counts we conducted in two different scenarios – the stopping and parking prohibition along the entire length of the road on both sides and controlled stopping at certain parts, which following a study could not create a problem to the traffic. The results of both scenarios were similar, so we decided to opt for the second one, i.e. controlled stopping on both sides”, said Mr. Orphanoudakis.
According to him, because the area has now become a suburban area of Corfu and has basically become an extension of the urban part of the town by the people who have invested there, spatial planning is required. “In the situation that Solari is currently in, it needs to become an urban road, that is, a municipal road. That is why at the Regional Council in October we asked for two things to be done – to approve the solution of the controlled stopping, because otherwise the businesses that do not have parking spaces would have to close down, and to declassify the road from a highway in order for the citizens and businesses to have better access,” explained Mr. Orphanoudakis.
As he said, especially for the issue of the road declassification, a complex and time-consuming procedure will begin, as approvals must be given by all responsible Ministries, the Inspectorate of Antiquities, the Forestry Commission and the Decentralised Administration.