Citizens protest construction of two-story overpass road near former Tbilisi hippodrome
20 April, 2018
Citizens protest construction of two-story overpass road near former Tbilisi hippodrome
The demonstration protesting construction of two-story overpass road was held on April 19 at Tbilisi City Hall building, Saakadze Square. Georgian citizens and environmental activists protested construction of new so called Estacada near former Tbilisi hippodrome, at the crossing of Tsintsadze and Kartozia streets.

The protest action was organized by "SOS Hippodrome!" - Campaign member civil activists and and non-governmental organization Iare Pexit (Walk on Foot), aiming to fight pollution and protect environment.

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The participants of the demonstration were holding banners with multiple inscriptions, such as “do not deceive us,” “SOS it is time to act for saving Tbilisi hippodrome,” “SOS hippodrome,” etc.

Partisan Gardeners movement also joined the gathering, said one of the members of the movement, Nata Peradze, adding that construction of this highway road would create even more traffic and environmental problems in the city.
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According to the organizer of the rally, Joseph Alexander Smith, the above-mentioned project is completely unreasonable

The citizens signed the petition against the construction of highway road and presented it to Tbilisi City Hall. The petition was signed by 2235 people.

As the statement by the organizations of civil society reads, despite the petition submitted to the Tbilisi City Hall the project will be still carried out near former Tbilisi Hippodrome.
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The participants of the demonstration were holding banners with multiple inscriptions

The statement also reads that country faces harsh ecological crisis that will be worsened in case the project is carried out.

The protesters demand to stop the construction of the new highway road until the Tbilisi City Hall does not have the experts’ assessment and explanation about how the construction of the new road will reduce the existing traffic congestion in Tbilisi.



The protesters demand to stop the construction of the new highway road

According to the organizer of the rally, Joseph Alexander Smith, the above-mentioned project is completely unreasonable. As he says, there is no particular research made about why is it necessary to build new highway road exactly at this location.

According to the Tbilisi City Hall, implementation of the project will cost approximately GEL 2, 7 million and construction of the new highway will be completed in five months.
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Former Tbilisi hippodrome

Due to the road construction works, private and public transport traffic schemes have been temporarily changed at the overpass of Tsintsadze and Kartozia streets.
As a reminder, new highway bridge at the crossroads of Tsintsadze and Kartozia Streets near the old hippodrome in Tbilisi is planned to be constructed. The project initiated by Tbilisi City Hall was made public on April 17 causing anger and flow of protest from the citizens and environmental activists.
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New overpass road near Tbilisi hippodrome. Tbilisi City Hall project

As Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze said in his statement, when the city is in need, we should compromise.

“Some questions might rise in relation to this project, yet we should not abstain from making such decisions, since things should not stay same as it was 50 years ago when only 50 cars moved through the city. We will do our best to replant the existing trees, but those that can’t be replanted, will be cut,” Kakha kaladze said about the project.
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New overpass road near Tbilisi hippodrome. Tbilisi City Hall project

Previously citizens of Tbilisi asked the City Hall to rehabilitate the territory of former Tbilisi hippodrome and turn it into a central park. Currently the area remains abandoned and without care, yet the locals still go for walk, do jogging or play some sports.

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Environmental activists oppose construction of new highway road near former Tbilisi hippodrome
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