In line with the target of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer to use the bicycle as a means of transportation, a great transformation has taken place in bicycle transportation in Izmir in the last two years. New bike paths were built. The number of BISIM stations increased to 55 and the number of bicycles serving to 890. While tandem and children's bicycles were included in the fleet, İzmir set an example for Turkey in bicycle transportation with free bicycle repair stations and practices encouraging the use of bicycles in public transportation.
Adopting an environmentally friendly, economical and sustainable transportation policy against the global climate crisis, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has implemented many infrastructure, application and incentive projects in the last two years to reduce motorized transportation and increase bicycle and pedestrian transportation in the city. Under the leadership of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer, who often prefers bicycles in urban transportation instead of an office car, and encourages the citizens of Izmir to use bicycles, many studies have been carried out to use bicycles for transportation in the city. Steps have been taken to increase cyclist tourism in İzmir, which has the title of the first city that applied to EuroVelo, the European Cycling Route Network, from Turkey and whose application was officially approved. Civil society organizations were included in the decision processes. The comfort of cyclists was considered. In İzmir, which was chosen as the leading city in the EU-supported “Let's Cycle Turkey” project, the number of people using bicycles as a means of transportation has increased.
Soyer: “We encourage nature-friendly transportation”
Stating that automobile-oriented solutions create a heavy traffic load especially in city centers and the vehicle load in traffic has increased with the pandemic, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer said, “We are carrying out a holistic and comprehensive policy in transportation, as in every field, in line with the goal of being a sustainable and resilient city. The value of the bicycle was better understood all over the world during the pandemic period. It has been understood how important the area we allocate for bicycle transportation is in transportation policies. Our main goal is to promote transportation that is energy efficient, consumes less resources, is reliable, healthy, respectful to nature and accessible. We want our people to spend more time on two wheels and prefer bicycle transportation more. We started the construction of new bike paths in many arteries in the city. We want to carry our citizens wherever they want to reach, with safe bicycle paths. We are expanding the bicycle parking areas and bicycle repair stations implemented in the city center in districts outside the center as well.”
Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan has been prepared for İzmir
According to the “İzmir Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan” in line with the 2030 İzmir Main Transportation Plan, which foresees a significant increase in bicycle and pedestrian transportation routes, the Metropolitan, calmed streets and shared roads, a bicycle paths design guide specific to İzmir, activities promoting bicycle use, collective It carries out studies for policies that will ensure the integration of transportation and bicycles, urban infrastructure and unit arrangements for bicycle users, increasing shared bicycle stations and integrating them with public transportation, and creating safe parking spaces.
The first city participating EuroVelo from Turkey
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, which has taken important steps for the development of bicycle tourism, was included in the European Cycling Route Network (EuroVelo) in 2019. Thus, İzmir became the first city from Turkey to apply for EuroVelo, which has an annual economic size of approximately 7 billion Euros, and whose application was approved. It is anticipated that the 500-kilometer-long bicycle route connecting the ancient cities of Bergama and Ephesus will also contribute to urban tourism and transportation.
Chosen as a pioneer city in bicycle transportation
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has been selected as the leading city in the EU supported “Come on Turkey Cycling” project of WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities. Campaigns developed by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality in 2020 within the scope of the program, which supports municipalities that want to turn the bicycle into a means of transportation, to organize communication campaigns in cooperation with non-governmental organizations, set an example for other provinces in Turkey.
Award for bike paths project
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality won an award in the category of Healthy City Planning in the "Healthy Cities Best Practices Contest", which was held for the 11th time last year by the Healthy Cities Association, with its "Social Distance and Bicycle Roads in Izmir" project. The project was prepared with 40 kilometers of “Separated Bicycle Paths”, “Shared Bicycle Paths” and “Bike Lanes” to ensure that the society embraces the new urban mobility in İzmir where social distance is maintained.
BISIM's number of stations reached 55
In order to encourage the use of bicycles in the city, the number of stations in BISIM, the Smart Bicycle Rental System of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, was increased to 55. A rental bicycle system was also established for citizens living in Gaziemir, Narlıdere and Güzelbahçe districts. BISIM, which has 373 thousand members, aims to increase the number of stations to 2021 by the end of 60.
These bikes are the first in Turkey
Tandem bicycles and children's bicycles broke new ground in bicycle transportation in Turkey. 120 tandem bicycles, which allow more than one person to use bicycles at the same time, were put into service, removing the obstacles for visually impaired citizens in bicycle transportation. In order to support the cycling culture from childhood and to raise generations that use bicycles, 120 children's bicycles, two of which were placed at each BISIM station. BISIM fleet reached a total capacity of 650 bicycles in two years, 120 of which are adult bicycles, 120 of which are tandem bicycles and 890 of which are children's bicycles. Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer gave support to 23 children on the 101st anniversary of the 101 April National Sovereignty and Children's Day, and to 19 young people who voluntarily supported the projects of the Metropolitan Municipality on the 102nd anniversary of the 102 May Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day. bike gift.
New bike lanes created
The bike path surrounding the bay has been completed. During the pandemic, Martyr Nevres, Vasıf Çınar, on the 2nd Kordon and Pleven Boulevard in Konak, between Narlıdere Center and Sahilevleri bicycle path in Narlıdere, on the Yeşildere Street side road, between Şirinyer and Basmane, on Sevgi Yolu and Uğur Mumcu Street in Dikili approximately 15 kilometers of bicycle path was put into service. Karşıyaka Manufacturing works continue on Aziz Nesin Boulevard, Cumhuriyet and Talatpaşa boulevards. Planning and project design studies continue for the bicycle path in Gaziemir, Buca, Çeşme, Menderes, Bayındır, Tire, Bergama and Selçuk districts. The bicycle path, which has reached 84 kilometers in İzmir, will increase to 107 kilometers with the new regulations to be implemented. In addition, it is planned to build 103 kilometers of bicycle paths in the short term and 248 kilometers in the medium and long term. Thus, it is aimed to increase the ratio of bicycles in daily journey distribution in the city from 10 per thousand to 5 percent in 1,5 years.
Free repair stations for bicycles set up
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality added a new one to its steps to reduce motorized transportation and increase bicycle and pedestrian transportation, and 35 free repair stations and 50 bicycle pumps were placed on bicycle paths. In addition, 400 hand/foot rests have been installed so that cyclists can easily stop and wait at traffic lights and intersections. In the last year, 98 bicycle parking lots were put into service at 899 points. By the end of 2021, 20 more repair stations and nearly a hundred more bicycle parking spaces will be available to citizens.
Those who take the ferry by bicycle in Izmir pay 5 cents.
In order to encourage cycling in public transportation, it was decided that as of September 1, 2020, cyclists will benefit from the ferry services within the gulf for 5 cents. Thus, the number of citizens who prefer the ferry with their bicycles increased by 30 percent.
Bus permit for folding bikes
Obstacles preventing cyclists from using public transportation were removed one by one. Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has installed special apparatus for the transport of bicycles on buses, while all new buses have bicycle apparatus. In addition, since August 26, 2019, those with folding bikes in Izmir can benefit from the municipal buses at certain times.