A written statement released by Turkey's Ministry of Health on Monday said that one million bicycles will be handed out in order to promote cycling as part of the Healthy Nutrition and Active Life Program and Physical Activity Stimulating Project, with the order of the Minister of Health, Mehmet Müezzinoğlu.
"Children, primary schools, universities and municipalities are the focus group of this project. 10.589 bicycles will be delivered on 19 May 2015 first, to the governmental schools that open the course of sport and physical activities or bicycle module in 5th, 6th and 7th grades. Bicycles have been also sent to 30 metropolitan municipalities," the statement said.
3.220 bicycles have been sent to public health directorates to be distributed to universities, the statement added. The universities to receive free bikes are Hacettepe University (Ankara), Çukurova University (Adana), Afyon Kocatepe University (Afyonkarahisar), Ağrı İbrahim Çeçen University (Ağrı), Mehmet Akif Ersoy University (Burdur), Osmangazi University (Eskişehir), Gaziantep University (Gaziantep), Kırıkkale University (Kırıkkale), Selçuk University (Konya), Sıtkı Koçman University (Muğla) and Yüzüncü Yıl University (Van), according to the statement.
However, municipalities have to meet specific criteria to be able to receive free bikes. Some of the most important criteria mentioned in the statement are;
- Cycle lanes must be separated from the traffic ways for cyclists' safety.
- If that's not possible, they have to be separated from the traffic ways with visible lines.
- Cycle lanes must be of quality standards, and have signaling systems if needed.
- Cycle lanes should not have sharp bends.
- Security measures have to be taken to ensure cyclists' health.
- Bicycle park stations have to be made of durable materials and be designed in a way that won't damage the bicycles or block the traffic.
The ministry will start handing out the bicycles on Tuesday.
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