3 years ago
LexParkerJr
in English · 14,570 Views
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Paris to Cut Cars, Double Bike Lanes by 2020
Paris took a huge leap up our roster of Top International Bike-Friendly Cities on Sunday when Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced plans to cut out cars from the city center by 2020.  In a statement to the French press, the city's first female mayor vowed to fight rampant pollution by outright banning diesel-fuel vehicles within Paris and regular (non-electric, non-hybrid) cars from the city's more polluted downtown roads.  Parisian cyclists will be among the biggest benefactors, as the plan also includes doubling bike lanes and funding an extended electric bike-share to encourage new cyclists.  The new lanes will reportedly give bike commuterseasier access into the downtown area from the suburbs across the Boulevard Périphérique beltway. Streets like Rue de Rivoli or Les Champs-Élysées will be reserved for "ultra-low emission vehicles," according to the plan, and tourist buses will be limited to reduce congestion. Meanwhile four central arrondissements (districts) will be transformed completely into pedestrian and cycling zones, allowing only local and emergency vehicles. A plan like this might seem like a pipe dream in the United States, but Parisian commuter culture varies dramatically from ours—and continues to become more bike-friendly.  "Today 60 percent of Parisians already do not have cars, compared with 40 percent in 2001," Mayor Hidalgo said. "Things are changing quickly." Although all of this sounds like great news for cyclists, the mayor's plan is motivated by some seriously scary statistics, including a sweeping city-wide pollution problem that reportedly takes six to seven months off the lives of Parisians as compared with French citizens living in less-polluted areas.  But there's a silver lining on the way. Previous efforts to cut down on car congestion in the city have already seen a big drop in nitrogen dioxide levels, and the ban on diesel vehicles is expected to help build on that success. Other cities will be looking to Paris as an inspiration as they develop cycling infrastructure, too. And as bike commuting becomes a more convenient method of travel than driving a private vehicle, it stands to reason that more citizens will start hopping onto bikes
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2 comments
It's great to see such a big city dedicated to making bicycles a bigger part of transportation. It seems like a need based on the amount of pollution, but at least they are taking steps in the right direction.
3 years ago·Reply
sounds like a good plan to me! more bicycles on the road is never a bad thing
3 years ago·Reply