Minister of Transport Binalı Yıldırım has announced details of a planned third Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul. The bridge is to span the Bosphorus between Garipçe, near Tarabya on the European side, and Poyrazköy, near Beykoz on the Asian side.
The government plan foresees changes in the plans of three municipalities, those of Kocaeli, Adapazarı and Istanbul. Once these plans have been changed, the project is supposed to be open to bids.
Mücella Yapıcı from the Greater Istanbul branch of the Chamber of Architects has reacted to the announcement of details on the third bridge with dismay.
Talking to bianet, she listed many areas of concern.
The city's life force will be extinguished: Istanbul is already a city that has exceeded its natural ecological boundaries, and mostly responsible fort his are the two existing Bosphorus bridges and the ring roads leading to them. 75 percent of the new route is made up of forest areas and water depots to the North of the city. Large-scale construction, the concomitant settlement and unplanned traffic load will choke the city.
New roads and new settlements mean more pollution: Building roads in itself creates pollution. New roads mean new settlements, as we saw in Sultanbeyli previously. Illegal cities will be constructed in forest areas. The fumes of the traffic will pollute the forests and water depots. When you allow traffic into areas of natural cycles, you kill life there.
More traffic: The governments claim that the bridges reduce the traffic, but all scientific stuides show that bridges increase the traffic load. The solution lies in public transportation on rails. This plan does not mention rail traffic. More cars will be sold and added to the existing load.
Water more expensive, air more polluted: The bottled water that we drink wil become more expensive, and the air we breathe more polluted. But we need both to live.
Social cost: Istanbul's population is already five times of what this area can cope with. With a new bridge, the population will increase. This will mean more unemployment and more homelessness.
Certain sectors benefit: The main aim of this 6-billion-dollar project is to channel money into the car, logistics and construction sectors. This money comes out of our pockets, and we Istanbulites will pay the cost in terms of reduced living standards.
Effects in Marmara region: Not only Istanbul, but the Izmit bridge, Thrace via Çanakkale and the Southern Marmara region are under threat.
Yapıcı added that plans created for Istanbul did not foresee a third bridge and called on people to join in democratic protests. The Chamber is considering going to court. (TK/AG)