Fighting Traffic Congestion with More Congestion

Following the post on Notes From Hairenik about the construction works on several most congested roads of Yerevan, and reading an as usual “angry”-critical article in A1plus about the effects of such construction, I decided to find out what is really going on. The first thing that came to mind was – to see if the Yeravan municipality has a website, and then, see if they have any report on that. Needless to say, that I was sure, that either Yerevan municipality has no website, or there is no mention of the construction works.
But – surprise, surprise!!! The very first thing I tried was to type in the browser address bar and !Heavens! – it turned out to be the Yerevan municipality website… and which is more – it does have an official press release about the construction works. Now, is this cool or what? I’m happy for you – Yerevan, we’re officially out of Stone Age!
The website is poorly designed, English version doesn’t work, but all the same – it exists and is updated, and… here are extracts from the official press release about the road construction (taken from the website and translated as fast and best as I could):

At the moment construction works have started in the following sections of the city… To ensure safe passage of pedestrians a 56 meter long and 15 meter wide underground passage is being built on the crossroad of Nalbandyan, Isahakyan and Alek Manukyan streets. Transport passage has been stopped in this section to complete the works in time.

The other underground passage which will be 34 meters long and 17 meters wide, is under construction on the junction of Vardanants – Khanjyan streets. As a result one way traffic for automobiles has been organized in this section on the left side of Khanjyan street. One way traffic will be organized also from the Sayat-Nova avenue side of the Tumanyan street to the round-shaped park. A temporary road will function here until the underground works are completed.

Construction works are in progress also on the Khanjyan – Agatangeghos streets and Tigran Mets avenue crossroad. Considering the exceptional levels of congestion in this crossroad a multifunctional underground tunnel-passage is being built here. At the moment one-sided traffic is set up on the section across the “Ayrarat” cinema theatere. One way traffic will also be organized on the section leading from Agatangeghos street to Khanjyan street. As traffic in this section is super-congested, works will be implemented here section by section, in order to not block transportation passage completely.

This is all very good, but for the fact, that the anti-congestion efforts of the municipality have resulted in even more congestion. So now we know what’s going on, but will we be able to survive it all?  Considering the state Komitas is in after two years of ongoing construction works I’m a bit skeptical. I guess we will have to wait about 2 years and see…

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. As someone who lives in Komitas, the situation is still chaotic. Just travelled downtown by public transport and it was a nightmare. Police trying (and failing) to control traffic as it hit Kassian. Basically, if we’re still in this situation here, god help us with the center.
    Even in Tbilisi there seemed to be some order in conducting road repairs in a way to limit disruption of traffic whereas here we seem to like to dig everything up at the same time without thinking about alternative routes.
    Incidentally, Tbilisi has a ring road to try to keep as much unecessary traffic out of the center. There is meant to be one in Yerevan. Is it under construction? Is it finished? Does anybody know what happened?
    BTW: Not related to Armenia, but to traffic congestion, when I was in the UK a few weeks ago one story I saw was how the Mayor of London verbally attacked the U.S. Ambassador who refused to pay the congestion charge.
    I was kind of proud of (formerly “Red”) Ken Livingstone.

  2. The ring road is under construction, they keep saying about it on TV but I never catch any journalist asking when the hell it will be finished.
    PS: Go Livingstone!!!

  3. Just wanted to add that the mini-tunnels being built on Nalbandyan/Isahakyan and Vartanants as it crosses Khanjian are unnecessary. In fact I don’t see the point whatsoever. There isn’t a real traffic problem at either intersection as I speak from experience, so someone has clearly had a bad idea in City Hall. Khanjian/Tigran Mets should be the only focus for such a project and nowhere else.
    If anything, a traffic light needs to be installed immediately at the intersection of Nalbandyan and Charents streets. Better still, make sure all the traffic lights in Central Yerevan especially are working and properly maintained (i.e., change a burnt-out bulb within a day instead of 6 months), and do everything possible to stop pedestrians from jaywalking (clearly defined crosswalks would do just fine). Finishing up all the construction along Tumanyan Street near the Opera would help, too, not to mention the enforcement of parallel parking there.

  4. I agree to the point about Nalbandyan/Charents intersection 100%!

  5. […] a war zone for the past two years with no end seemingly in sight. Observer mentioned this in a recent post on traffic congestion, and Garo said the same when posting about urban construction projects in the […]

  6. […] read about it first in the blogosphere here, here, here, and here, and now the mainstream media is starting to cover what many consider to be the […]

  7. […] on the section across “Ayrarat” cinema for around a month now. I remember being rather welcoming albeit a bit skeptical when this massive construction works started back in June: Construction works are in progress also […]

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