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Traffic Safety In Paleochora


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#1 frans

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 05:32 PM

In this topic I would like to discuss the safety of Paleochora's citizens and its tourists related to the traffic in the village and around it.
Since 2000 I visit Paleochora every year and my wife visits the same for more than 20 years. This shows how much we love Paleochora but this year something awfull happened.
We were already surprised, visiting from august 27 till september 14, how much traffic has grown in the last couple of years but this year it seemed it had even grown substantially. This is probably caused by the ever growing popularity of Paleochora but has a number of big negative side effects, for example:
The boulevard stretching from the harbour towards the south point of the peninsula (west side Gavdiotika area) is nowadays completely occupied by parked cars, even on the side were it is not allowed cars are just parked on the pavement/pedestrian area, completely blocking it from pedestrians trying to safely make their way to the village via this route. In general the situation for pedestrians is very unsafe in Paleochora because the pavements are of un-even hights and sometimes very narrow which forces them to go on the mainroad. Even the police is parked on the pedestrian area. Now this is where the real danger starts because a lot of cardrivers and mopedriders (motorcycles) behave very dangerous not to say mad!
Another very dangerous situation is with the road leading to the camping/paleochora club and Gialiskari beach (aka Anidri beach). My wife was this year nearly hit by a car while she was walking as far to the side as possible. A car coming towards her and steared in her direction and nearly hit her. This almost seemed like a delibarate try to either kill or hurt her. This road should be marked as VERY DANGEROUS for pedestrians and walkers who come and go to either the beach, Anidri and or Sougia. There really needs to be done something about this.
Traffic is a negative point in Paleochora which from other perspectives is one of the safest places I have ever been! Nowadays nobody in town on a motorcycle wears a helmet, they speed and drive recklessly. This cannot and should not be tolerated. I spoke to a taxi driver who brought us from Chania to Paleochora and also discussed the safety situation. He said that in Chania the police is very strict about wearing safety belts etc. As soon as we entered Paleochora he put off his belt and said sarcastically: In Paleochora NO police.......
What are your comments?

#2 MickMcT

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 07:19 PM

I lived in Paleochora for 15 months up to August 2006 and recognise some of what you say.

However, in my experience the people most to blame are the package tourists who think thy have some god given right to walk in the middle road because it might be a bit inconvenient for them to negotiate the pavement - how many of them would even think about doing that in their home country - and the Greek tourists who, naturally, want to park their cars in a place convenient to the beach. Of the two I found the package tourists the most irritating and most dangerous simply because of their unpredictability.

As to not using seatbelts or wearing helmets, get stopped at one of the frequent roadchecks outside Paleochora or get pulled over by the local cops and see what happens!

#3 Emma1310

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 08:48 PM

To be honest, that situation sounds like most of the Cretan towns I drove through.

Few European countries are alike in their accommodation of pedestrians and the UK probably has more features to protect pedestrians than most countries I've visited. I certainly don't expect drivers to respect pedestrians when I'm abroad and therefore, I'm more cautious than at home.
Now is the time for drinking, now the time to beat the earth with unfettered foot.