Paris becomes a cycling city

Paradigme Mode

Paris, once one of Europe’s most pol­lut­ed and car-cen­tric cities, is now lead­ing the charge in sus­tain­able trans­port ini­tia­tives. From 2017 to 2022, the city has under­gone an incred­i­ble trans­for­ma­tion, with the city coun­cil announc­ing plans to make Paris com­plete­ly cyclable by 2026. This includes mas­sive invest­ments in the cre­ation of 180 kilo­me­ters of cycling lanes and a tripling of bike park­ings from 60,000 to 180,000.

Paris becomes a cycling city

The city has seen the quick­est cycling trans­for­ma­tion in his­to­ry, with cen­tral cycling lanes becom­ing dense­ly crowd­ed so fast. In Novem­ber 2021, the Boule­vard de Sebastopol count­ed 137,948 rid­ers. One year lat­er, in the cold rain, this num­ber reached a new peak of 177,968 rid­ers, with 18,000 rid­ers per day dur­ing the week.

Nev­er­the­less, this suc­cess has not come with­out chal­lenges. The junc­tions to neigh­bour­ing vil­lages and the Periph­erique remain dan­ger­ous, and col­lab­o­ra­tion with oth­er cities is need­ed to cre­ate safe paths for jour­neys between cities. Anoth­er major chal­lenge is the pub­lic bike rental ser­vice, which has seen a sig­nif­i­cant decline in qual­i­ty in recent months. The sys­tem is now among the worst in any major French city and falls short when com­pared to the ser­vices offered in oth­er Euro­pean cap­i­tals.

Paris becomes a cycling city

Paris now has the infra­struc­ture need­ed for bik­ing, but a decent pub­lic bike rental ser­vice remains essen­tial. Acces­si­ble sys­tems are cru­cial for stu­dents, peo­ple on low trans­port bud­gets, and tourists. A sim­ple sys­tem that cov­ers the entire city and has high main­te­nance and usage rates is key to the city’s con­tin­ued suc­cess in sus­tain­able trans­port.

Fur­ther­more, Paris is lead­ing the way for oth­er Euro­pean cities in terms of sus­tain­able trans­porta­tion. The city coun­cil’s plans to make Paris com­plete­ly cyclable by 2026 serve as an inspi­ra­tion for oth­er cities look­ing to reduce their car­bon foot­print and improve air qual­i­ty. Cities like Brus­sels, Milan, and Barcelona can learn from Paris’ expe­ri­ence and imple­ment sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives in their own cities.

Paris becomes a cycling city

In order for the city to con­tin­ue its suc­cess in sus­tain­able trans­port, the city coun­cil must address the chal­lenges fac­ing the pub­lic bike rental ser­vice. Improv­ing main­te­nance, expand­ing the num­ber of bike sta­tions and mak­ing the sys­tem more acces­si­ble will ensure that Paris remains a leader in sus­tain­able trans­port. With con­tin­ued invest­ment and col­lab­o­ra­tion, Paris can con­tin­ue its impres­sive trans­for­ma­tion and serve as a mod­el for oth­er Euro­pean cities look­ing to improve their green trans­porta­tion options.

In-Depth Resources

Written by David Ferrero
December 12, 2022

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