This City to Become More Bicycle Friendly

New infrastructure from adding bike lanes to parking spots will make the city a cycling haven.

Parisians riding bikes on the annual car-free day.

(Delpixel / Shutterstock.com)

Paris, France is known as the city of love. Now, the city hopes to also be known as the most bike-friendly city in Europe. That’s because Paris is planning on upgrading its infrastructure to become a cycling haven by 2026.

This is a major change from a city that was once considered toxic for bicycle riders according to Forbes. Now, city leaders are hoping for a 100 percent turn around. In fact, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo – now running for president of France – was re-elected in 2020 after introducing pro-cycling measures.

Today, over 1 million Parisians are biking their daily commutes without the proper infrastructure, using lanes shared by cars and motorcycles. This will all soon change.

Velo Act 2
Some of these measures are already in place. As part of the 2021-2016 cycling plan called Velo Act, 2, bicycle parking will be increased at the same time that car parking spaces is reduced. The city has already removed 70 percent of its on-street automobile spots.

There will be 40,000 secure bike spaces installed near railroad stations funded by the city and an additional 50,000 will be built thanks to grants and incentives from the private sector.

Paris already has 1,000km of safe bike paths including 52km that were added during the coronavirus pandemic when people were hesitant to use public transportation according to Euro News. There are now plans to add an additional 130km of paths to encourage people to cycle.

The aim of Velo Act 2 is to allow people to cycle from one end of Paris to another. “This cycling plan is one of the essential pillars of ecological and social transformation that we are leading in Paris,” tweeted David Belliard, Paris’s deputy mayor in charge of urban transformation.

Leaving cars home and taking to two-wheels will help the city reduce greenhouse gasses and make Paris a greener city.

Other cities that are bicycle-friendly

France is joining some of the most cycling friendly countries in the continent according to travel site, Destinations Europe. Some countries like Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Utrecht, and Antwerp have had bike infrastructure in place for years.

In fact, Copenhagen has 400 km of safe and maintained bike paths and today there are more bicycles than cars in the Danish capital. But the gem is the Cykelslangen bridge that is reserved for two-wheelers.

Utrecht is the Netherland’s most ideal city for cycling. The city has the largest amount of bicycle parking spots in the world. More than 12,000 spaces are located at the central train station. Utrecht also has a very innovative cycling policy that includes fast bike lanes, smart signage, and great infrastructure.

In 2020, London’s streetscape program transformed the city’s streets to accommodate more pedestrians and bicycle riders as a way to improve the quality of life in the city, reduce carbon emissions, and lower air pollution. The increase in bicycle riders started during the coronavirus lockdowns and is still going. This proves that two-wheels are truly better than four.

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