Citizens Urge Sofia Chief Architect to Resign over Car Lobbying
Sofia city chief urban planner Petar Dikov. Photo by BGNES
Citizens of Bulgarian capital Sofia have requested the resignation of Sofia chief architect Petar Dikov over a controversial new major road project.
The new boulevard is set to connect the intersection of P. Yavorov and St. Mihaylovski (Simeonovsko Shose) Blvds with the Hladilnika district.
What has provoked the objections of some Sofia residents is that the road, together with a planned expansion of the intersection, would encroach on significant parts of one of Sofia's largest parks, the Borisova Gradina.
In their petition, citizens are now arguing that by defending the project as absolutely necessary for traffic in the city, Petar Dikov has shown incompetence in the field of urban planning.
The new road, they say, is unnecessary, as it will more or less replicate the route of currently existing N. Vaptsarov Blvd.
What is more, it would actually stimulate an increase of private vehicles traffic, rather than alleviate currently occuring traffic jams, say the petitioners.
They further argue that instead of seeking to improve public and green transport, the Sofia chief architect has defended the alleged necessity of transportation by private cars.
"Dikov's statement that private car traffic will remain the chief means of transportation for a long time to come shows gross incompetence in urban planning," reads the petition.
It further claims that the pollution caused by traffic in the city has reached dangerous levels and needs to be managed by officials, rather than be further stimulated.
In additon, the people who signed the petition have suggested that the new road could have been designed to serve corporate interests, as it would ease transportation to a large mall currently being built in the Hladilnika district.
The project was going to be voted in the Sofia Town Hall last Thursday, but after a protest in front of the municipality, Mayor Yordanka Fandakova requested that it be returned to the town committees for a reconsideration.
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