For decades, Paris has been known as a built-up, traffic-choked, somehow-actually-very-romantic metropolis. But post-pandemic, the city is looking to shed its polluted image and become a whole lot greener.
In the latest of several anti-car plans introduced by the city, the town hall has announced that it wants to become ‘100 percent cyclable’ by 2026.
The plan would see a whopping €250 million invested in bike infrastructure throughout the French capital, drastically increasing (and improving) the city’s cycle-friendliness.
And how exactly would that money be spent? A huge amount will be splurged on new cycle lanes. In total, 180 kilometres of segregated lanes will be laid, as well as 450 kilometres of new paths on roads. The plan would also make permanent the ‘corona pistes’ (‘corona lanes’): the 60 kilometres of cycle paths that were created during the pandemic. On top of all that, the city would also create 130,000 more parking spaces for cyclists.
Beyond practical improvements, Paris is looking to transform locals’ attitudes towards cycling. A new street code will be introduced to give priority to cyclists, trams and buses at traffic lights, while each of the city’s 20 arrondissements will be given a self-repair bike workshop. There will also be a huge drive to teach children to ride bikes.
This latest initiative is just one of many plans to make Paris a more environmentally-sound place to live. As it gears up to host the Olympic Games in 2024, the city has launched an extensive tree-planting programme and has even announced it will ban cars from the entirety of the first four arrondissements.
The latest plans have the potential to turn Paris into a true cyclist’s paradise. But don’t get your hopes up just yet – before it comes into action, the project must first be presented to and approved by the municipal council. Keep your fingers crossed.
Now read more about how Paris plans to become Europe’s greenest city by 2030.