Great expectations: EMBARQ Turkey grows BikeLab project
EMBARQ Turkey has worked to improve cycling infrastructure and cycling conditions in Turkey since 2010. As a whole, the team of urban planners and traffic safety experts have made enormous inroads in developing an appealing environment for cyclists by improving intersections, training city officials on bicycle planning, and promoting policies that support non-motorized transport. But EMBARQ Turkey wants to go further in promoting non-motorized transport options, evidenced through their ambitious work with local governments to develop a network of bike lanes across the entirety of the cities of Istanbul and Konya. Their hope is that by 2023, bike lanes will allow non-motorized transport to be an integral component of the transport systems of both cities.
Early success implementing cycling infrastructure
In 2010, EMBARQ Turkey worked with city officials in Antalya, Eskişehir and Sakarya to design and implement new cycling corridors throughout the cities. With EMBARQ Turkey’s design guidance and capacity-building expertise, the cities developed 6 km (~4 miles) of cycling lanes in 2012. EMBARQ Turkey expanded on this initial effort in the cities of Istanbul, Konya, and Kayseri, developing over 300 km (~190 miles) of cycle lanes this year. EMBARQ Turkey was recently awarded the “Public Transportation and Public Health Award” in the Environment category from the Turkish Public Health Association for its efforts.
EMBARQ Turkey also recently organized their second Urban BikeLab event in Istanbul. Presided over by the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, ISPARK, Yard 9 Design Group, and with support from the Netherlands Consulate-General in Istanbul, the event focused on creating design and policy manuals that can help engrain bicycle infrastructure into all of Istanbul’s future transport infrastructure projects with the specific goal of easing Istanbul’s notorious traffic congestion.
With this planning standard, EMBARQ Turkey will continue its partnership with Gehl Architects this year to develop a city-wide network of bike lanes that will be their most ambitious undertaking yet.
Moving forward with the City of [Bike] for City concept
As Turkey rapidly grows more urban and citizens are faced with the choice between private cars and sustainable transport, the need for infrastructure that supports active or non-motorized transport has never been greater. EMBARQ Turkey, in partnership with city officials of Istanbul and Konya, has developed City of [Bike] for City, an ambitious plan to develop 1000 km (~620 miles) of bike lanes in both cities by 2023. This would mean tripling the number of bike lanes EMBARQ Turkey has currently developed. But EMBARQ Turkey is not waiting a decade to get started. Already in 2014 32 km (~20 miles) are to be constructed in Istanbul, and another 150 km (~93 miles) of bike lanes are projected this year for the city of Konya. Each city faces distinct problems, but EMBARQ Turkey hopes both cities can develop a comprehensive set of principles that policymakers, designers and community members can follow to shape safe and well-used cycling facilities throughout all of Turkey.
See more on the City of [Bike] for City concept in the video below: