EMBARQ TÜRKİYE, part of the EMBARQ network, developed BikeLab Istanbul to bring Netherlands’ cycling culture to Istanbul. The project, implemented with the cooperation of Dutch urban design company YARD 9 and the support of Netherlands' Royal Consulate General, started on Tuesday, December 18th with Bikelab Istanbul Workshop. 60 participants attended the workshop.
ISTANBUL, TURKEY (December 21, 2012) – In coordination with EMBARQ Türkiye, YARD 9 and the Netherland's Royal Consulate General, BikeLab Istanbul was launched at a workshop at Salt Galata, Istanbul. This workshop brought Turkish and Dutch experts together with urban transport stakeholders to discuss, topics across the transportation space: bicycle safety, bike-pedestrian-transit infrastructure integration and fostering a bike culture in the capital of Turkey,
The workshop began with opening addresses by Onno Kervers, the Netherland's Royal Consul General to Turkey and EMBARQ Türkiye Director Arzu Tekir. Kervers said that the Dutch Consulate was ready on day one to help bring Dutch cycling expertise to help turn Istanbul into a bike friendly city, that uses bikes as another means of urban transport.
A biker himself, Consul Kervers also highlighted that the BikeLab project started by EMBARQ Türkiye and YARD 9 presenting cycling as not only a mobility solution, but also as a way to take cars off the road, reducing Istanbul’s famed traffic congestion.
EMBARQ Turkey's Tekir expanded upon the project’s scope "For BikeLab Istanbul, we highly value our project partners and are open to adding more stakeholders as the project moves forward. The results of this workshop will be prepared in a report and shared with experts and decision makers from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipal Authority, as well as other local municipalities. With the cooperation of YARD 9 we will design safe bike lanes in the coming months. Our aim is to rollout the bike lanes as a pilot project, with local administrators' guidance and data analysis. Later this year, we will compile the results of the project in our " Safe Bike Lane Design Guide".
Best practices suggested to turn Istanbul into a "bike city"
Both the Netherland's Dutch Cycling Embassy Board Member Tonny Bosch and Yard 9 Managing Partner, Gerbrand Bas attended the workshop as speakers. They shared examples of interesting bike projects and bike lane designs in the Netherlands.
Bikers Association Chairman Murat Suyabatmaz and the Life with Bikes Association Secretary General Keyser Seri –leaders both in cycling for Istanbul- also participated in the workshop . They pointed out problems faced by bikers in urban areas and shared their suggestions for implementing cycling insfrastructure..
The workshop helped catalyze the process of coming up with solid solutions and suggestions to turn Istanbul into a biking city by bringing Dutch and Turkish experts, the Istanbul Municipality, Istanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel General Management, and representatives from NGOs together.
"User oriented" bicycle lanes will be designed and implemented as a pilot project
Within the scope of the project a number of events will take place within one year. EMBARQ Turkey and YARD 9 will conduct activities to encourage the use of bicycles as a means of transportation, through creative ideas and designs. Further workshops will be organized to design "safe and user oriented" bicycle lanes. Pilot implementation of prepared bicycle lane designs will be done within the scope of project.