The number of cyclists in Paris has risen year-on-year since 2018, with an encouraging increase of 54% reported between 2019 and 2020 in both the city and the suburbs. Anne Hidalgo, the current mayor of Paris, is setting her sights on transforming the city to be completely cyclable by the year 2026, where both residents and visitors can safely commute by bike or via any other green mode of transport.
This considerable increase over the years is thanks to dedicated cycle lanes, which are completely separated from motorised traffic. More recently in 2021, the mayor has proposed an investment of 250 million euros to make the city completely cyclable, with several updates to their original Plan Velo, which is now called Plan Velo: Act 2. The plan aims to add another 80 miles of bike-safe pathways, with complete protection from motor vehicles, as well as making it possible to cycle from one end of Paris to the other safely. Alongside these new additions, the plan also proposes to do the following:
- Teach children to ride bikes in schools.
- More cycling facilities will be added, including 100,000 new parking spots for cyclists and cargo bikes.
- Configured traffic lights to benefit cyclists or those using public transit.
- Increased maintenance for cycle paths.
As the new measures gradually come into place, it is hoped the city will see a steady increase from it’s current fleet of around 840,000 cyclists per day. This number is actually higher than the amount of daily commuters on the metro, which is quite an encouraging statistic for the initiative.
So far the success from the initial plan has been phenomenal, which may act as further encouragement for other countries to take a similar eco-friendly route towards revamping their cities.