Bikes Take Priority in Post-Lockdown Paris

Faced with the task of rethinking its transportation systems in the face of the ongoing public health crisis, Paris and the Île-de-France are clearing the way for people on bikes.

1 minute read

April 24, 2020, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Bike Traffic

Michel Passet / Shutterstock

"Paris is the latest global city to roll out emergency bike lanes for the use of key workers and others during the lockdown," according to an article by Carlton Reid. The shift toward bike priority in Paris will last beyond the lockdown.

Concerns  about transportation mode choices (i.e., a massive shift to automobile trips) after the lockdown has led Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo ready 650 kilometers of cycleways—including "corona cycleways"—for May 11 when the lockdown is eased in France. Mayor Hidalgo is also accelerating the existing "Plan Vélo," which is designed to turn Paris into a 15-minute city. A January 2020 article by Reid reported in more detail about Mayor Hidalgo's ambitious plans to end the car-centric design of Paris streets. 

Now, Mayor Hidalgo's efforts have support from higher levels of government. "On April 21, the Île-de-France region pledged financial support for the preexisting RER Vélo project, a network of nine protected cycleways linking the center of Paris with key suburbs, a concept of the Ile-de-France Bike Collective advocacy network," reports Reid. "€300 million will be provided to part-pay for a mix of new infrastructure and temporary 'corona cycleways,' or TempoRER vélo," according to Reid.

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