İstanbul to have 250-km light railway by 2012

Plans for the transport infrastructure in Turkey's largest city include a 250-kilometer light railway and possibly a third bridge crossing the Bosporus by the year 2012, according to an announcement by Mayor Kadir Topbaş

İstanbul to have 250-km light railway by 2012
Plans for the transport infrastructure in Turkey's largest city include a 250-kilometer light railway and possibly a third bridge crossing the Bosporus by the year 2012, according to an announcement by Mayor Kadir Topbaş on Monday.

"We have finished our plans and we have put our system and roadmap in front of us. Currently these projects are under way, progressing step by step," Topbaş said, adding, the İstanbul "will be the city that uses both land and sea transportation most effectively," reported the Anatolia news agency.

Saying that an additional rail system in the city would significantly relieve the city's traffic problems, Topbaş said the system would be extended to 562 kilometers in later years. "We have gotten close to this [solving traffic problems] thanks to construction projects currently under way. In 2012 the results will be felt," the mayor explained.

Topbaş also expressed belief that İstanbul needs more bridges. "This is a reality. You should establish contact between two living spaces. And when we are doing that, we should be respectful of the land and environment. This should be made in a way that will not damage green areas, forests and the environment," he explained, stressing the municipality's concern for protecting the environment.

Saying that the government was currently considering an international project to build a third bridge over the Bosporus strait, he said Marmaray, a light railway currently under construction to cross the strait underwater, will answer a major requirement of the city. Referring to Marmaray as "the project of the century," he said another tube channel crossing the straits under the sea would be built for "vehicles with rubber tires," though suggested no timescale for this.

He also said that the Da Vinci bridge project, a footbridge over the Golden Horn designed by Leonardo Da Vinci in the beginning of the 16th century, was going to be resurrected.

The mayor asserted that their aim is to make İstanbul a city where it will be possible to get to every part the city on the metro system, saying: "We are literally weaving İstanbul with iron webs. While we are doing that, on the surface we are constructing roundabouts, tunnels, tunnel roads and underpasses. We have also made significant progress in public transportation through the sea."

The mayor went on to say he would like to run for another term in order to see the end of these projects. "We have an ideal. If my party approves of its continuation and if the İstanbulites agree, I have to finish some of the projects I have planned. Why is that? Unfortunately it is because there is an understanding by some newcomers that they shouldn't finish earlier projects but instead design works to mark that person's term. This means some projects might be left unfinished. If I have set a target for 2012 and if I have invested 22.5 trillion lira (YTL 22.5 million) for the metro and city transport, I think I should be the one to finish it," he explained.

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Last Mod: 07 Ağustos 2007, 15:09
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