Cycling Booming as Paris Prepares for 2024 Olympics

Paris is already a famous city for cycling fans, with the Tour de France finish on the Champs Elysees every July seen by millions of TV viewers around the world.

But a quieter revolution has been underway in Paris over recent years. Under the leadership of Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Plan Vélo has seen an increase of cycling each year. Most recently 54 percent between September 2018 and September 2019.

At the core of the plan has been the construction of high quality separated bicycle paths. According to a recent study Paris now sees 840,000 trips by bike per day.

New mayoral elections are due on 15th and 22nd March 2020 (the second date being a run-off if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote in the first round).

Hidalgo has announced her plans to further transform the streets of Paris if she wins a second six year term, so that 100% of roads are cycle friendly in time for the 2024 Olympics.

Perhaps the most remarkable of these is to remove 60,000 of the 83,500 on street parking spaces in Paris to make space for not just bike lands but wider footpaths, trees, parklets and other amenities.

You can see more about the comprehensive plan here. The total cycling investment is reported to be 350 million euros over six years (A$570 million), which equates to A$42.38 per resident per year. This is several times higher than the per capita spend on cycling in most Australian states.

Despite strong opposition from oil and motoring lobbies throughout her first term and leading up to the current election, at the time of writing, Mayor Hidalgo had a slight lead in the opinion polls.

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