Bianet: “No Return From the Mistakes of Taksim Project”

Issues that people are facing in the traffic or formation of little pools around Taksim area are because of the flaws of construction projects; these flaws are irreversible, Murat Ergün, professor of construction at ITU, told Bianet.

taksim project

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality completed its pedestrianization project of Taksim Sqaure. Currently, the car traffic between Tarlabaşı Boulevard and Cumhuriyet Avenue is going to underground tunnels. Taksim Square is “pedestrianized”, if you can say that.

However, the new situation  brought along new issues. On September 25, a motorbike accident left one person dead due to crashing straight into a curve in the tunnel.

On October 3, first autumn showers formed huge pools in the heart of Taksim Square.

Traffic jam in stages

Istanbulites suffer from traffic jam in the tunnels as public buses stop by for passenger transfers. “The traffic is generally OK in the tunnel but there are congestions on the detours and route exists. Pedestrians and bus users, however, seem to be divided on the current situation.

“Issues arise as city planners are approaching the city as a whole,” Murat Ergün, professor of construction at ITU, told bianet.

“The issues brought by this mentality may be irreversible.”

No approach as whole

* The city is a whole but solutions are planned on a individual basis. ‘We are here today but not tomorrow’ approach brings no permanent solution to issues.

* Crossroads is no resolution. You build one, and then the other one gets more congested with longer lines. You need to consider main highways in this type of work. This project is against principles of planning.

* We observe that congestions occur at the bus stops. Bus turns are also problematic. The geometry of the bus stops and turns present problems. Because there is no room for them in the tunnels.

Pools will return

* When projects are planned without adequate thinking, you omit intricate calculations like pools. This is irreversible. There are always rain pools when you make a engineering mistake.

Accident tolls will climb in winter

* Accidents at the tunnel entrance are mostly due to curves and lack of speed limit controls. Accident toll will rise in the winter and icy periods. Tunnel entrance should be more straight. There is a project error here. Speed controls must be held properly

* As constructions and population rises around the area, the traffic will suffer even more. The solution can come from building faster rail systems in more areas. (BK/BM)

Beyza Kural
11 October 2013