This report came about from a few days inport in southwestern Turkey in May, 2002.

Some notes about roads in Turkey

Hi, gang. We pulled into port near Marmaris, Turkey last week...will be leaving tomorrow. On Sunday, I went on a tour to see the ruins of Ephesus, as well as the house where Mother Mary spent her last days (about 5km from Ephesus). The tour involved a bus trip from Marmaris, via Mugla and Aydin, to the ruins, near Selcuk, and back. Some observations:

- The Turkish equivalent to BGS are BBS (Big Blue Signs). Could not immediately place the font, but it seems similar to an FHWA will be forthcoming upon my return stateside.

- No route shields. Only two ways to know which route you're on are by BGS and Distance Signs, or by the kilometer posts.

- The Kilometer posts are small squares (about 12"x12"), simple black on white. There are two lines (separated by a horizontal line). The top line has the route number, followed by a dash and then a number representing what I'm guessing is the district (what the districts are was not immediately apparent). The bottom line number is the kilometer post. The kilometer counts reset upon crossing "district lines".

- Turkey seems to use bituminous almost exclusively...much of it appearing to be at least 20 years old. The only concrete streets/roads I saw were on the base we pulled into. Newer sections of highway use standard asphalt.

- Average lane width seemed to be about 10 feet. The major roads generally had some sort of partial shoulder, moreso on the flat sections than on the grades and curves. Lane striping is exclusively white.

- Major routes (of the ones we traveled) are a combination of 2-lane, 3-lane, and 4-lane undivided. Almost every hill of any significance has a truck lane (hence the preponderance of 3-lane sections), and these are well-signed. The routes widened to 4-lane divided through most cities and towns cities and towns.

- Traffic signals are placed on the near-side of the intersections....a lot of side-mounted signals, with some overheads on major routes (using curved mast-arms). Many of the green lights are either out, aren't lit, or are hard to see in the sun. There is a flashing green phase before the signal turns yellow, and both the red and yellow lights are lit for a second or two before the signal turns green.

- Lots of signalized traffic circles. Many of the intersections had the through route go straight, while the side route/street took the circle.

- Contrary to most maps (including some Turkish maps), the O-31 Aydin bypass is NOT complete. Construction is underway, with grading and bridges appearing to be mostly complete, but no pavement laid yet.

- Between Cine and Mugla, a section of Route 550 has been recently relocated (within the past 5-10 years) for about 20km. Some of the relocation parallels the old route...about 2/3rds of it is totally new alignment through a very hilly (and scenic) area, including about 8km of 4-lane divided and a tunnel. Lengths are pure guesstimate.

- Also contrary to the maps, the Route 550 bypass of Mugla is also 4-lane divided, with traffic signals on each end.

- LOTS of switchbacks on Route 550 immediately north of Route 400 (between Marmaris and Mugla).

All in all, an interesting trip.

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(C) 2007, Adam Froehlig