Paris is to increase the number of protected cycleways in the city as well as boost bicycle parking spaces, according to its new 2021-2026 cycling plan published on 21st October 2021 and billed as ‘Plan Velo: Act 2.’
Plan Velo is the existing, A$233 million cycling plan which has been getting bolder and bolder with each update. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was elected for a second term last year after successfully introducing many pro-bicycling measures.
The desire is to make the French capital—not that long ago a city that was toxic for everyday cycling—into a “100% cyclable city.”
As well as the creation of extra facilities for cyclists the new A$388 million plan also pledges to maintain them with promises of “cleaning and snow removal from cycle paths.”
Cycle parking in the city will be significantly increased at the same time as car parking spaces are removed.
Plan Velo: Act 2 will see the erection of bicycle 30,000 parking stands with an additional 1,000 spaces reserved for cargo bikes. There will also 40,000 new secure cycle parking spaces near rail stations with the expectation that, thanks to grants and other incentives, the private sector will install a further 50,000 spaces.
As bike parking is being dramatically increased, car parking is being equally as dramatically decreased. Paris is already in the process of removing more than 70% of its on-street car parking spaces.
That Paris is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s premier cycling cities has not gone unnoticed. Recently, the New York Times claimed Paris was facing ‘anarchy’ because of the increase in cycling.
On Twitter, urbanists countered the New York Times’ story’s headline: “As Bikers Throng the Streets, ‘It’s Like Paris Is in Anarchy’”— with videos showing scores of people serenely cycling in the city, no anarchy evident.
Meanwhile, on 23rd October, Hidalgo launched her campaign to become President of France.
This article by Carlton Reid, was first published in Forbes.