Problems and Purpose
In growing cities, urban transportation planning is made merely on the basis of motor vehicles. The inadequacy of motor vehicles in the resolution of the problems regarding transportation, and especially the negative impacts of these vehicles on climate change, increased the efforts for finding alternative ways for transportation.
Bicycle is on top of the list of alternative transportation vehicles. The use of bicycles has been becoming more and more widespread due to its positive influence on health, environment, energy consumption and the aims of justice and economy policies. Today, numerous cities make use of the benefits of utility cycling for urban transportation.
The topography and urbanization processes of Istanbul metropolitan area create difficulties for the expansion of bikeways. Kadıköy’s land area also poses similar difficulties. Being one of the issues discussed in the 2015-2019 Strategic Plan preparation process, which was also carried out with a participatory perspective, the mainstreaming of utility cycling was included among the aims and targets of the plan.
Within the content of 2015-2019 Strategic Plan of Kadıköy Municipality, within the scope of the strategic aim for “Urban Development and Settlement”, new projects for bikeways were planned, as specified in the following target: “Reconsideration of the existing pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle connection roads in Kadıköy with a holistic view and working to create new axis.”
In this respect, the process for the designation of the routes of the new bikeways; their design and their connection with the current routes was aimed to be developed with a participatory approach.
Background History and Context
About Kadıköy Municipality
Kadıköy is an administrative district on the Asian Side of Istanbul. Located on the southwest of Asian Side, Kadıköy is surrounded by Üsküdar on the north, Ataşehir on the northeast and Maltepe administrative districts on the east and Marmara Sea on the west and south.
In the Late Ottoman period, Kadıköy Municipality was defined under the names of “11th District” and “18th District” municipalities and its first mayor was Osman Hamdi Bey. In the republican period, Kadıköy was declared as an administrative district on March 23, 1930 and later on, organized as a municipal district bound to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in 1984.
Consisting of 21 neighborhoods, Kadıköy has 25 km2 land area and 21.812 people per km2. The population of Kadıköy is 482.571, according to the 2014 data of TurkStat.
Mr. Aykurt Nuhoğlu (Republican People’s Party) was elected as the Mayor of Kadıköy in the local elections, which was held on March 30, 2014.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The process was conducted by Kadıköy Municipality, Design Workshop of Kadıköy (Tasarım Atölyesi Kadıköy/ TAK), Kadıköy in My Mind (Aklımdaki Kadıköy, the online platform of Kadıköy Municipality which seeks to ) and Kadıköy Municipality Academy Urban Research Center (Kadıköy Belediyesi Akademi Kent Düşünce Merkezi). The project was funded by Kadıköy Municipality.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Bicycle users, non-governmental organizations acting for the promotion of utility cycling, experts, designers, planners, representatives of the professional associations, neighborhood representatives and shopkeepers, the residents of the neighborhoods of 19 Mayıs, Sahrayıcedid and Kozyatağı who also participated in the preparation process of the Strategic Plan of 2015-2019.
Methods and Tools Used
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Deliberation, Decisions, and Public Interaction
Firstly, a “Bicycle Transport Workshop for Kadıköy” (Kadıköy Bisikletli Ulaşım Çalıştayı) was held on March 7, 2015 with the moderation of the Design Workshop of Kadıköy (Tasarım Atölyesi Kadıköy/ TAK).
Activists from the Cyclists’ Transport Platform (Bisikletli Ulaşım Platformu), Cyclists Association (Bisikletliler Derneği) and Street Belong to Us Association (Sokak Bizim Derneği), academics from Istanbul Technical University (İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi), the members of Kadıköy Municipal Council and experts from the relevant municipal departments participated to the workshop.
Suggestions were requested from the working groups, formed during the workshop, under four main headlines. The main headline questions are as below:
- How is it possible to improve the existing bikeways?
- What are the suggested new routes?
- How is it possible to integrate cycling routes with public transport?
- How can awareness be raised about bicycle transport?
The participants then shared their hopes for this project. Desired outcomes included: increasing the level of conscious use of bicycles as well as the number of safe bikeways, designing livable and healthy cities, carrying out tours for raising awareness, particularly on cycling as a model of transport, encouraging people to use bicycle for a more healthier way of living.
Divided into two groups, the participants discussed the four main headlines: the condition of the existing bikeways through a 1/5000 scale map of Kadıköy, the bikeways in project preparation phase, the areas with more than 7% slope, ferry quays, metro and metrobus routes. The ideas and suggestions were recorded and visualized on a district map.
The workshop attendees concluded that the existing bikeways should be improved and İnönü Avenue should be rearranged as a bikeway. The mapping exercise allowed these new routes to be communicated to both project organisers and participants in later stages.
Following the workshop held on 7th of March, on the 5th of April, bicycle users came together with the members of the Bicycle Transport Platform at Kadıköy Akademi, the urban research center of Kadıköy. Technical details were provided and participants went on 'biker expeditions' to experience the proposed site along İnönü Avenue.
Following this, another meeting was held at Kadıköy Akademi, this time including residents of the neighborhood, local shopkeepers, mukhtar (neighborhood administrator), bicycle users, the Mayor of Kadıköy, the deputy mayors, heads of related municipal offices and experts. Other citizens could participate remotely using the “Kadıköy in My Mind” (Aklımdaki Kadıköy) digital platform, uses Nextistanbul live broadcast. Suggestions and requests from the platform were received by meeting attendees and brought into consideration during their discussions.
The meeting began with the technical details of the project -- developed by the Urban Design Office, Public Works and Engineering Office -- and the results of the March 7th Design Workshop being conveyed to participants. Using the provided information, participants then discussed the design and implementation of the 2-kilometer draft project.
During the meeting, it was expressed that the heavy motor vehicle traffic is a problem that is present in all metropolises and the only solution to this is to support alternative transport methods and to reduce the number of active motor vehicles in traffic. The modernization of İnönü Avenue was thus seen as a viable way to raise awareness about the existence of alternative models of transport and mobility. The street's rearrangement and resulting design would be the first steps in resolving the traffic problem.
It was also underlined that a reduction in the number of lanes would create the required space for stopovers and the bike lane. As well, meeting participants felt that the project should create safe connections and shared lanes from the bikeways into the side streets and support integration among the roads. The button traffic lamps that will be added wherever required will provide the effective use of all road signs and all other warning signals.
Discussions also brought up the need to accomodate parking spaces for the shopkeepers’ customers. This issue brought up another point of contention: the fact that, currently, motor vehicles are parking on bikeways. Participants settled on various elements to add to the design such as colour paint and barriers to prevent this happening.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
The most significant system of bikeways in Kadıköy, outside the scope of the coastal line will therefore be established, starting with this project. This long bike lane will continue through Tütüncü Mehmet Efendi Avenue to connect Kozyatağı Metro Station on D-100 Highway to the two city parks (Özgürlük Park and Göztepe Park) in the surrounding area and to the coastal area of Kadıköy.
The primary aim of İnönü Avenue Project was to reduce the number of lanes on the Avenue from four to three as two lanes on both sides were used for parking and therefore only two of the four lanes were in use. Therefore, the stopovers were created and the flow of traffic on the avenue was adapted to the current forms of vehicle use.
The construction for İnönü Avenue Bike Lane has been continuing. Bicycle Transport Platform organizes periodical expedition tours and reports the deficiencies and defects in the implementation of the project to Kadıköy Municipality. Additionally, bicycle users and citizens living on the avenue raise awareness to prevent drivers from parking on the bike lane.
Kadıköy Belediyesi also asked that a social campaign be initiated by the central government’s Ministry of Health for improving and expanding cycling utilities, with its İnönü Avenue Bike Lane Project. Within the scope of this campaign, one bicycle is granted for one meter of bikeway construction; and for the total amount of İnönü Avenue’s bikeways, which has length of 1870 meters; an application demanding 1870 bicycles was submitted.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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