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Work visit to Antalya and Adapazari (Turkey) January 2010

 Work visit to Antalya and Adapazari (Turkey) January 2010


On invitation of EMBARQ Turkey I-CE visited in the last week of January 2010 two Turkish cities Antalya and Adapazari (Sakarya)  so as to assess the possibilities to create a cycling friendly city. On the basis of this explorative work visit I CE and EMBARQ developed a proposal for a workshop programme series in both cities to assist the city officials in the development of a feasible pilot project.


As in most cities today the traffic situation in Antalya is entirely dominated by motorised traffic, more specifically by private cars. At the same time one can observe regularly cyclists using the streets, mainly working people. The city has a small historic centre around the harbour that is rather touristic and it has narrow and sometime steep streets. Everything there is at walking distances. Around the historic centre there is a widespread city, with lots of hotels along the coast, and residential and mixed land use areas at the north side. The density is in many neighbourhoods pretty high, which creates a potential for cycling as mode of transport. There are a few heavy arterials with large flows of fast riding cars, but also a number of urban streets that have potential as main cycling route and with only moderate flows of motorised traffic.
The city has recently built a new tramline, connecting the city centre to some residential neighbourhoods in the north part of the city. The implementation was a kind of ‘stand alone’ exercise which was not well integrated in the existing urban transport system. For that reason it raised a lot of public opposition, resulting in a bad result for the concerning parties at the local elections.

Antalya has implemented some painted cycling ‘lanes’ on the sidewalks along the arterial along the coast at the west side of the city centre. These facilities are of poor quality but considered to be a first step. At the east side of the city centre along the coastal park there are also some cycling tracks, which are of slightly better quality, and could serve recreational purposes. There is also a plan ‘in stages’ to come to a cycling ‘network’ of dedicated cycling facilities of this type.

City officials claim that the municipality has a sincere wish to improve the transport situation in the city and to move from a ‘vehicle oriented’ to a ‘people oriented’ urban transport policy. The city is about to start a complete review of its transport policies. Because of the tram line experience the city government is more aware of the importance of a proper involvement of stakeholders than before. All in all it seems that there is a promising basis to make a start with the creation of a high quality cycling network.


Adapazari (Sakarya)  is an industrial city, which has suffered from an earthquake in 1999. As a consequence of the earthquake a part of the population has been relocated in a new development some 20 km from the original city, but in the ‘old’ city the opportunity has been missed to restructure the road system.

The city government is struggling with a number of  problems in its city centre area, like parking and the public transport operations. Upon that the city also wants to create more room for cycling. Like in Antalya cycling is not unusual on the streets of Adapazari. But car traffic is dominating the streetscape, and there is a lot of room for the improvement of cycling conditions. Streets are designed for mixed traffic and dedicated cycling facilities are (as far as we have seen) non existant in Adapazari.
In a meeting with a number of city officials we discussed the steps to take. The city is open to an integrated approach for the problems in the city centre.

EMBARQ and I CE are now planning a workshop series in both cities in the period 2010 – 2011.

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