Larisa Paremuzyan

Alaverdi Mayor Derives Benefit From Street Congestion

20_08-alaverdi_nshannerNo parking signs have appeared on Tumanyan Street, a major thoroughfare in the town of Alaverdi next to a building that belongs to the "Kata" store chain. It would appear that Alaverdi drivers see the signs as more of a joke than a concerted effort by municipal authorities to ease congestion on that particular stretch of road. Alaverdi drivers see the recent move by the municipality as just another way for local police to "ticket" drivers and then split the ill-gotten gains with town officials. This is the story we were told by many local drivers who understandably wished to remain anonymous. 20_08-kangarIn reality this stretch of road is the most congested in Alaverdi and is used by buses and vans as a transport route from Yerevan to Tbilisi. The site in question is used as a paid parking lot for buses and minivans plying the route and the morning and evening congestion becomes a real safety hazard since it is so close to the road itself. Many community residents have complained in the past regarding the unsafe conditions. However, the move by the Alaverdi Municipality to place no-parking signs in the area is a sham response to residents' concerns. A real solution to the congestion is for the municipality to move the paid inter-city bus and minivan stations to another location. This however would not be to the liking of Alaverdi Mayor Artur Nalbandyan, the majority owner of the "Kata" store chain since passengers from outlying communities make purchases at his store while waiting for transport to take them back home.