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Paris Doubled its Cycling Numbers in One Year. Here’s How.

3 June 2024

Today is World Bike Day and it’s appropriate that I’m in the center of Paris, a city that’s undergoing what is perhaps the most ambitiously rapid transition from car dominated city to bike city.

Paris is actively transforming its urban mobility at a pace like no city before.

The “Plan Vélo 2021-2026” involves a €250 million (about $A400 million) investment to expand cycling infrastructure, aiming to convert temporary lanes from the pandemic into permanent fixtures and add over 130 kilometers of protected lanes.

The result of this unprecedented investment has seen a remarkable doubling in bicycle usage on Parisian streets between October 2022 and October 2023. Doubling in one year! That’s unprecedented in any city let alone one the size of Paris.

Now around 30% of trips by locals in Paris are taken by bicycle. This is extraordinary given bicycle modal share still sat under 5% in 2019.

By some reports, bicycle use now exceeds car use in Paris [walking and public transit are first and second].

The “Code de la Rue” initiative has also led to a 40% decrease in car traffic and a 45% reduction in pollution.

I love that Paris has come so far so quickly because it shows that with the right investments any city can do it. It is a choice.

If cities are serious about sustainability and a quick transition to a low carbon future then we all need to follow the lead of Paris.

In contrast Perth is only building around 18km of new bike lanes a year. At the current rate Perth will not have a complete bike network until 2110!

So here’s to World Bike Day and to choosing sustainable and liveable cities.


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