Ecologic Life Bicycle Association (EKOBİD) published the report, “Problems of Cyclists in Samsun and Proposed Solutions” with the support of Etkiniz.
Below you can read the executive summary of the report, originally published in Turkish:
The climate crisis on the global agenda, the consumption and virtual destruction of all natural assets rapidly and without heed for ecological balance may be overcome with environmentally friendly, sustainable practices that heed the ecological balance in every aspect of life. For a sustainable and environmentally friendly transport approach, there is a need to prevent the car from being the prioritised means of transport in intra-city travel. Cars damage cities and the environment by causing air pollution, noise pollution, disruption to road safety and the urban landscape, and limitations of the urban rights of non-car users. Pedestrian travel and cycling need to be made widespread as an alternative to the car (Council of Europe, 2008).
The aim of this study is to present the problems of individual cyclists in Samsun and to propose solutions to these problems. This way it is believed that a contribution will be made to the aim of a liveable and sustainable world and environmentally friendly practices, especially reductions to carbon emissions and activities to prevent climate change.
Problems encountered by cyclists and obstacles to cycling such as the traffic network of the town not being suitable for cyclists were examined. A survey was prepared and delivered to participants digitally and responses were analysed individually. The study reached 1260 participants and in light of their responses, the experiences of cyclists, their demands, their expectations from local administrations/public bodies and organisations, civil society organisations and pedestrians, their identified problems and proposed solutions were presented. The majority of participants have stated that the greatest obstacle to more widespread cycling is the lack of separate cycling lanes or those present being inadequate and emphasised that urban transformation should be planned and implemented with cyclists’ rights in mind.
It is important for cycling to become more widespread and used as a means of transport in increasingly crowded cities. Therefore the identification of various obstacles to cycling in urban life will serve to guide local and central administrations, cyclists and civil society organisations working in this area.
The proposals Ecological Life Cycling Association has developed using study findings for the establishment of a safe traffic environment for both cyclists and motor vehicles are as follows:
- To encourage women to cycle, abuses towards them should not go unpunished, awareness raising work on gender equality should be carried out in every field, gender equality education should be included in the curricula throughout education starting from primary schooling and including driver schools;
- Work should be carried out and necessary safety precautions taken to encourage persons with disabilities and the elderly to cycle;
- Public information broadcasts on how the bike is both ecologically and economically beneficial as a means of transport should be prepared and local administrations and CSOs should cooperate on this matter;
- Before any reorganisation/changes are introduced to physical infrastructure, meetings should be held with CSOs and cyclists to listen to the proposals of those who have directly experienced the problem and for proposals to be voiced in person to ensure participatory democracy and transparency;
- Separate bicycle lanes and shared bicycle lanes should be built rapidly and in places where they are not built by public bodies or organisations despite being required by the law, control mechanisms should be employed to implement necessary punitive measures; Construction should begin for integrated mobility systems and secure bicycle parking areas;
- Road sides inclusive of cyclists should be rapidly placed, smart design roads and junctions should be planned as soon as possible and construction times should be announced to the residents of Samsun;
- Punitive measures against violations by motor vehicle drivers against cyclists should be applied unconditionally, civilian authorities should assess and finalise complaints post-haste.