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Paris unveils its next-generation cycle lanes

Wider, safer cycling for Paris ahead of lofty 2020 cycling city ambitions

Paris has unveiled its next-generation cycle lanes, with the opening of the first leg of its new
"bike highway”.

The 600-metre stretch near Bastille features two metre-wide tracks on the Boulevard Bourdon, giving cyclists almost a third more space than traditional bike lanes.

There will be similar highways constructed around the city, all part of the Express Bike Network, which will eventually lead to 45 connected kilometres of safe routes around the city.

Much like London, the city will be first intersected north to south and east to west, using the river as a guide.

The lanes are designed to be wide enough for easy overtaking, making it a safer space for riders of all abilities.

They are totally segregated from traffic and will cost more than €150 million to construct - money dedicated to meet the 2020 cycling capital ambitions held by the City Hall.

Concrete aims of the programme are to double the number of cycling lanes to 1,400 kilometres of routes.

10,000 new bike racks will be created and electric bikes introduced to the Velib scheme to help with hilly or long commutes.

It’s hoped that bike transport will rise from a current 5 per cent of traffic to more than 15 per cent.

"The aim is to travel and cycle across the city in comfort and security," Kiki Lambert, spokeswoman for the cycling association in Ile-de-France, told The Local last year.
"Paris's cycling policy cannot be assessed in terms of the number of cycling lanes but in the number of cyclists.

“More cycling lanes, lower driving speed, and more bike stands all have a positive effect on that. It's a matter of safety by numbers and I believe that has proven to be true in most cities across Europe."

Cycling campaigners remain sceptical about the city’s plans to boost levels of cycling. One, Kiki Lambert from the group Mieux se déplacer à bicyclette [Better to get around by bike] told Le Monde: “If we really want to get to 15 per cent of cyclists in 2020, we need to make space for them.”

Meanwhile green politician Pierre Japhet, responsible for transport in the 11th arrondissement, said: “It’s more of a transitional plan than a disruptive strategy.”


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