Paris pushes vision of ‘100-percent bikeable’ city

Published October 22, 2021
Boys look at a hot air balloon of the environmental group Greenpeace, near the Eiffel Tower ahead of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, in Paris. — AFP/File
Boys look at a hot air balloon of the environmental group Greenpeace, near the Eiffel Tower ahead of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, in Paris. — AFP/File

PARIS: The city of Paris on Thursday promised to deve­l­op its network of secure cyc­ling lanes as part of a five-year plan to make the French capital “100-percent bikeable” with 250 million euros ($290 million) of extra spending.

Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo, who runs Paris with support from the Green party, placed a push for more bike-friendly policies at the centre of her platform that got her re-elected by a wide margin in June of last year.

She is now also the Socialist party’s candidate in next year’s presidential election, hoping to unseat President Emmanuel Macron, but her campaign has got off to a woeful start with single-digit ratings.

Her policies have found wide support among the capital’s urban elites with short commutes, but they are seen as a much harder sell in the rest of the country.

“Our target is to make our city 100 percent bikeable,” David Belliard, deputy mayor in charge of urban transformation and Green party member, said.

Some 180 million euros of new spending is earmarked for infrastructure, including plans for major bike routes across the city and into surrounding suburbs, and additional measures to make crossings and key entry points into inner Paris safer for cyclists, Belliard said.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2021

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