Transportation in the MR

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  • At the time of the Monastic Republic's independence all the roads were dirt. After the arrival of the refugees and the founding of the three towns of Aktí, Prosforion and Ammouliani there was not much traffic between them. Discussions were held by the citizens from time to time about a more usable road system that would facilitate commerce in the Lowland and the Isles.
  • Fossil fuel-driven vehicles are not permitted in the Monastic Republic, with the exception of farm vehicles, emergency vehicles, the helicopters, the ferries and the tour boats. Bicycles and tricycles are very popular modes of transportation. If motorized transportation is required, electric golf carts are used, just as on Santa Catalina island *here*. The streets are traveled mainly by pedestrians, and various kinds of cycles; donkeys can still be seen carrying burdens and passengers between and in the towns.
  • On August 20, 1947, the Lowland and the Isles were connected to the power grid of the Hellenic Empire, which enabled the citizens to increase their output. This made paved roads even more imperative.
  • As a first part of this project, in August 1958, the Holy Synod passed the Paved Roads Act (PL No. 27) permitting the streets of the three towns, of Karyes, and of Dafni to be paved with concrete. At the same time, as an esthetic move, the power lines were placed underground. Fortunately, the initial building of homes and other buildings enabled the towns to have streets with two eleven-foot wide lanes, along with two four-foot wide pedestrian lanes. This project was completed in December 1959.
  • Since Dafni and Karyes predate the arrival of the refugees, their streets are not as wide. But then there is very little traffic on the Holy Mountain.
  • The second part of the project was to construct a two-lane highway joining Prosforion and Aktí. The road was continued on from Aktí into Ierissos in the Hellenic Empire connecting with their paved road. In this case, the pedestrian lanes were separated on either side from the vehicle lanes by a landscaped strip. A simple bridge was built over the as yet un-reconstructed Xerxes Canal. The highway was completed in January 1960.
  • In February 1973, the Paved Road Act was amended to permit trolley buses to carry passengers, cargo, and mail on the Interdeme Highway between Prosforion and Aktí. The existing pedestrian lanes were widened to eleven-foot lanes to carry the trolley buses. These lanes in turn were separated from new pedestrian lanes by a six-foot wide landscaped strip. The four vehicular lanes were then marked with reflective paint: a dotted reflective white line down the center and a continuous reflective yellow line at the edges. Catenary lines to carry the trolley bus power lines were erected the length of the highway.
  • In February 1975, the Holy Synod passed the Xerxes Canal Reconstruction Act (PL No. 30). Navigability of the canal would obviate vessels having to go around the peninsula and would permit emergency vessels to respond more quickly between the three demes. It was decided that a tunnel would serve better than a bridge, which would have had to be some kind of drawbridge. Initially more expensive to build, the tunnel would be cheaper to maintain. The tunnel was made wide enough to carry all the traffic that now used the Interdeme Highway. The landscaped strips were not continued throught the tunnel. Instead, barriers were erected through the tunnel separating the vehicular lanes, bus lanes and pedestrian lanes from one another. An overhead duct was also included to carry the power cables under the canal.
  • In 1980, a road was extended north along the canal to the prison.
  • Ferry boats carry passengers between Prosforion and Dafni, and between Prosforion and Ammouliani.
  • Each town, the gendarmery post, and the village has a heliport. Each monastery is required to maintain some place clear for a helicopter to land. The heliport is located as close to the town square (πλατεία) as possible.
  • The heliport in Prosforion provides helicopter transportation to and from Athens and Constantinople for travelers who wish to make international connections.
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