Paris unveils first stretch of ‘bicycle highway’

Paris has officially opened the first segment of its new "bike highway" in France, a 600-metre stretch near Bastille.

Paris unveils first stretch of 'bicycle highway'
Photo: AFP

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.

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.

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.

READ ALSO: Paris to double city's cycling lanes by 2020

(Photo: Reji/Flickr)

By Marianna Spring

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VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.


In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.