Dailies Gandul and ProSport launched the 'BIKEREST' campaign aimed at promoting a congestion-free and healthier living in Bucharest, and publicly ask city general mayor Sorin Oprescu to close on the Sundays this October road traffic around the Herastrau Park via the Kiseleff Blvd. and Victoriei Avenue all the way to the ?Old Town'.
"We call it 'Bikerest' but this is not just about bikes and sport, we demand space for exercise, rollerblading, baby strollers or — in a word that has been long out of the Bucharesters' vocabulary, for promenade. We also have motorists in mind and don't want to get the city gridlocked, therefore we turn to the Traffic Police to join in to find solutions so that in areas such as Victoria Square, the junction near the Military Club, the Revolution Square, the lovers of walks and the drivers be able to alternatively go through," say the initiators of the campaign.
They are calling on Bucharesters to support a campaign on a specifically designed Facebook application where the request addressed to mayor Oprescu collects likes.
A promenade for the bohemians of the so called ?Little Paris', lining up some of the capital's landmark buildings, Victoriei Avenue has been right from the beginning one of the city's most important roads. This is where, at the turn of the 20th century, bike enthusiast Maria Mihaescu pedaled into notoriety with her daring riding habit; her non-conformism turned her into a symbol etched in the collective memory as ?Mita the Wheelwoman'.
Called at first Mogosoaiei Plank Lane, it opened in 1692, four years after Prince Constantin Brancoveanu ascended the throne of Wallachia; it was initially paved with wooden planks.
"At first the Mogosoaiei Plank Lane had no sidewalks and it was equally used by pedestrians and carriages. It is only later, in 1824, during the rule of Grigore IV Ghica that it was paved with river stone and in 1864 works started to pave it with cubic granite stone brought from Scotland. Soon, along the freshly upgraded street the boyars started erecting their stately homes on generous land plots, notes Gheorghe Crutzescu, author of the volume ?Mogosoaiei Plank Lane. The story of a street."
It is after King Carol I ascended the throne in April 1866 that some of the most important buildings in Bucharest were erected along this artery, many of which are still standing today: churches, shops, luxury stores, restaurants, hotels, various state institutions, turning it into the main promenade site of the capital.
'Victoriei Avenue was the busiest thoroughfare and the major buildings lining it were erected in the time of Carol I: the Post Palace, the National History Museum, the Athenaeum, the Royal Palace, the Telephone Palace, the National Theatre, the Capsa House, Hotel Boulevard, the Zlatari Church,' relates historian Dan Falcan.
Concentrated here were all the shops and the essence of the city's nightlife, this is where the Bucharest crčme de la crčme could be found, adds the historian. AGERPRES