Hidalgo wants Paris to be 100% cycleable
Paris’ Mayor and presidential candidate Anne Hidalgo has presented on Thursday the 2021-2026 bicycle plan. With the construction of 130 km of new bicycle lanes, 100 000 secure parking spaces, and a limited traffic zone in the center of Paris, it should make the French capital a “100% cycle-friendly city”.
The plan, endowed with 150 million euros, will be presented to the Paris Council in mid-November. By the end of the mandate, the city of Paris’ cycle network will include 180 km of safe cycle lanes and 390 km of two-way cycle paths.
Dutch-style crossroads and network of cycle paths
To achieve this objective, 250 million euros will be invested during the mandate, including 180 million euros in infrastructure. The aim is to provide the major arteries in Île de France, the region that surrounds Paris, with a network of major cycle paths, such as the RERV and the Vélopolitain (which will follow the metro lines), that will cross the city and its suburbs.
The budget for infrastructure includes the 80 million euros announced to perpetuate the so-called ‘coronapistes’, 52 km cycle lanes created during the confinement of major Parisian arteries, as well as the road marks that will be installed in the streets to indicate the existence of a cycle lane. Two-way traffic will be generalized in all one-way streets for cars.
The objective is to create Dutch-style crossroads, which have lanes reserved for bicycles and pedestrians and allow better visibility for motorists. A street code to improve cohabitation between all users will be launched in a few weeks.
Safe bicycling parking
The issue of parking is also central in the 2021-2026 bicycle plan. In 2020, 6 631 complaints of bicycle theft were recorded in Paris, a 7% increase compared to 2019. The city wants to create 100 000 new secure parking spaces during this mandate, including 50 000 in the private sector, and 40 000 guarded parking spaces for bicycles neat stations, and underground and RER stations.
In addition, 20 million euros will be spent on more local cycle path projects in districts, and 10 million euros will be dedicated to the limited traffic zone that will be set up in the center of Paris. The aim? To eliminate all transit traffic and thus reduce car traffic in the area by half.
40 million euros will be dedicated to other operations concerning cycling issues, such as the campaign to ensure that all Parisian children are trained not only to ride a bike but also to use the public space.
The health crisis and periods of confinement have apparently prompted many cities around the world to develop the use of two-wheelers. In cities such as Brussels, Berlin, London, Rome, and Barcelona, tens of kilometers of additional cycle lanes were created.
Paris is now following suit, continuing the “revolution to get away from dependence on the private car” that has been underway under Hidalgo since 2014. Finding the right balance between the car and the vulnerable road user is crucial here, and as always, Copenhagen is referred to as the example to follow.
Although some will see these measures as a sign that Paris is less and less welcoming cars, according to Ademe, the French Agency for Ecological Transition, in 2030, the modal share of cycling in pairs will explode to between 19,6% and 28,5% compared to just over 5% today. It is also planned that a self-repair workshop will be opened in each arrondissement of Paris.