The two metre-wide tracks on the Boulevard Bourdon in central Paris offer cyclists nearly 30 percent more space than “classic” bike lanes, leading the way for similar cycling highways across the city.
This new 600m of highway, which was opened last week, marks the start of the Express Bike Network that aims to provide 45 kilometres of large secure bike routes in the coming years, in a bid to boost cycling in the capital.
— Weelz.fr Vélo urbain (@WeelzFr) May 18, 2016
The highways will be constructed along the North-South and East-West axis of the city, along the banks of the Seine, and will connect the Bois de Vincennes and Boulogne.
The bike highway is separated from traffic in order to ensure cyclists’ safety and is wide enough for those on their bikes to overtake one another.
Below, a tweet from (a self-admittedly proud) Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo shows (in red) the newest segment of the bike lane.
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) May 18, 2016
The City Hall dedicated €150 million to help make Paris the cycling capital by 2020 in April last year.
Their aim is to double the number of cycling lanes, providing 1,400 kilometres of safe cycling routes by the end of the five-year period, up from the current 700 kilometres.
Besides from these highways, the plans also include creating 10,000 new bike racks.
City officials have also been exploring the idea of introducing electric bikes, which could ease journeys for those who travel from further away or encounter hills whilst they travel around Paris.
City Hall promises to accelerate the speed of the project in the latter half of 2016 and throughout 2017 in order to successfully achieve its goals.
Over 225,000 bike trips are reportedly made in the capital each day, yet they represent only 5 percent of overall traffic.
City Hall hopes to increase cycling to 15 percent of traffic within the next four years.
By Marianna Spring