Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Spain 'goes nuclear' on Catalonia

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton says Trump 'channels' racism

Read more

THE DEBATE

Moment of truth: Spain sets in motion direct rule over Catalonia

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Must it come down? Market analysts bracing for correction

Read more

FOCUS

Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto to vote on autonomy

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

France considers tough new laws to crack down on sexual harassment

Read more

ENCORE!

Inside the new Yves Saint Laurent museum in Morocco

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

California: When your home is reduced to ashes

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

#balancetonporc: Sexual harassment and gender inequality in France

Read more

France

Paris plans to become ‘world cycling capital’

© AFP / Ludovic Marin | A man rides a bicycle near the Eiffel Tower on March 11, 2014 in Paris

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-04-05

Paris is planning to invest €150 million to double the number of cycle paths across the city, a move it hopes will transform it into the “cycling capital of the world” and help solve the French capital’s pollution problem.

Unveiling the proposals on Thursday, Paris’s City Hall said the investment could see the number of journeys made by bike in the capital triple from five percent of all journeys currently to 15 percent by 2020.

The centrepiece of the scheme is a new cycle “express way”: more than 80km of two-way cycle paths following some of Paris’s main avenues and spanning the city from north to south and from east to west.

Other cycle paths outside this main “axis” will be added and expanded, doubling the total length of cycle paths over the next five years to 1,400km.

A map showing the proposed new cycle path network for Paris. The green lines are existing cycle paths, the pink lines indicate the route for the new cycle "express way" and the dotted lines represent proposed new smaller cycle paths.

The ambitious proposals, set to go before a vote at the next city council meeting in April, could also help make the French capital a greener, less polluted city, according to Christophe Najdovski, Paris’s deputy mayor in charge of transport.

“The battle against greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants is also at stake with this project,” she told French daily Le Figaro.

Though figures show air pollution in the French capital has declined steadily in recent years, some two to four million people in the Paris region each year are exposed to air quality that fails to meet European standards, according to Airparif, the body that monitors pollution levels in Paris.

Last month – and for the second time in little more than a year – city officials were forced to introduce a number of emergency measures to curb a particularly dangerous spike in pollution. The drastic steps included banning half of all traffic from the roads and making public transport free.

Speed limits to make cycling safer

Making the roads safer for cyclists is also a major part of the new scheme, which city officials hope will encourage more people to swap their cars for bikes.

Safety measures will include introducing 30km/h for smaller roads with cycle paths, rising to 50 km/h on major arteries.

"We believe that people would be willing to take the step, but don’t do it because of a sense of insecurity," said Najdovski.

Cycle paths on the new express way will be separated from traffic, said Najdovski. “We also want to address breaks in the cycle network, such as at the portes (city gates) on the outskirts of Paris,” she added.

The unveiling of the scheme comes at a time when cycling in Paris is becoming increasingly popular.

The number of journeys made by bike in the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris, doubled between 2001 and 2010 to 650,000 a day, while the capital’s Vélib cycle hire scheme reached a record 283,000 subscribers in 2014.

City officials are now also looking at introducing a new electric bike hire programme to allow users to make longer journeys. Last year also saw it trial a scheme to encourage youngsters to learn to cycle by offering families the chance to hire bikes for children aged two to eight years old

Date created : 2015-04-05

  • FRANCE

    New Year brings higher parking fees for Paris drivers

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Gloves off as Paris pollution dirties city’s mayoral debate

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Size matters: Red faces as Paris buys too-big metro escalators

    Read more

COMMENT(S)