Paris to become "100% vélo"
9th February 2020
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has put the environment and sustainable transport at the heart of her campaign for re-election in 2020.
Hidalgo plans new bike paths, secure parking, and cycle training, as well as helping businesses swap vans and trucks for bikes.
Steps to get Parisians cycling by 2024 include:
- at least one "vélorue" per arrondissement, where pedestrians and bike riders have priority
- cycle contraflow the default in 30kmh zones
- protected cycle lanes on all bridges
- garden streets for use on foot or by bike
- cycle access to Olympic venues
- major new cross-city cycle routes on top of the existing 1,000km
Investment is to be €26 per inhabitant per year.
How to improve conditions for walking
The section of her campaign website on walking ('Comment faciliter les déplacements à pied ?') is broad in its scope.
The introduction explains that for decades, motorised transport has dominated Parisian streets. Now it's time to return to streets for everyone, shared streets. Giving priority to active travel is more sustainable, more environmentally friendly, and more pleasant. It is also better from the point of view of public health.
The result will be streets where you can walk, talk, play, and exercise; places where you can meet other people, and which are better for children and people with disabilities; places which are less noisy and safer.
Practical measures already taken include:
- 150 widened pavements
- 224 pedestrianised streets since 2014
- 80 'meeting zones' where pedestrians are prioritised and the speed limit is 20kmh
- 15 'children's streets', transformed into play areas
- big Parisian squares including place de l'Italie and Place de la Bastille where the space given to pedestrians has been increased by 50%
- 10 new 'Paris respire' areas, closed to motor traffic at weekends
- a car-free day throughout Paris once a year
- 13 'planted streets' where plants have replaced tarmac
- 5,000 pedestrian crossings improved, with car parking removed to improve visibility
Actions promised in the campaign include a new highway code to give priority to the most vulnerable and to pedestrians and cyclists; restrictions on movements of HGVs with blind spots; and adjusting traffic light settings to the benefit of pedestrians.
Half of all parking spaces to be removed
50% of parking places are to be removed, so as to build cycle routes and widen pavements, extend terraces, and create 'park-lets'.
Pedestrianisation of the centre of Paris
Motorised traffic will be removed from the centre of Paris, with exceptions for the handicapped, local residents, taxis, emergency vehicles, and businesses. Electric buses will serve these central areas.
There will be more school streets, closed to traffic at school opening and closing times.
15 minute neighbourhood
The 'ville du 1/4h' is promoted on Hidalgo's campaign website. The ideas is that everything you need to access on a daily basis should be within a 15 minute walk or bike ride from home; and the local environment should be pleasant.
Proposals in this section include nicer streets and gardens, and an action plan to achieve zero cigarette butts in the streets or down the drains. There are to be more 'police municipal' to make sure the rules of daily life are respected.
Neighbourhoods will have more musical and cultural events, more sports clubs and free open-air sports pitches and courts. School playgrounds will be made into gardens, and open to local residents at weekends and in the school holidays.
On the front page of her campaign website, Hidalgo sets out the reasons for her proposals. 'The world has changed. Our lives have changed. The environmental emergency means we must find new solutions for transport, housing, food, work, and medecine.'
Parks and gardens are to be linked, by planting in certain streets. A tree will be planted for every new Parisian born. New bathing areas will be created (Canal Saint-Martin and la Seine), and the number of drinking fountains will be increased. To favour biodiversity, birds will be protected, and frogs and pollinators will be reintroduced.
The elections for Mayor of Paris take place from 15th to 22nd March 2020.