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Paris to open 55km of new cycling lanes for 2024 Olympics

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Paris to open 55km of new cycling lanes for 2024 Olympics
Paris' network of cycle paths will be expanded for the Olympics. Photo by AFP

Paris visitors will be able to cycle all the way from the city centre to 2024 Olympics sports sites on its outskirts next summer, local officials said on Tuesday.

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The French capital is to open up 55 kilometres of new bike paths to link venues in Paris to those in the northeastern suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis by July 2024, they said.

They include 30 kilometres of cycling routes inside the capital that have been completed or are about to be finished, said David Belliard of the city mayor's office.

Another 30 kilometres of bike lanes already planned as part of the capital's urban development would also be finished faster in time for the Games.

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In Seine-Saint-Denis, another 25 kilometres of lanes would appear before the Olympics kick off, local official Stephane Troussel said, on top of 130 kilometres that already exist.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said the bike paths - which the city has dubbed "Olympilanes" - would be a great legacy for the city.

City hall is also in overdrive to green Paris and ensure the River Seine is clean enough to swim in by next summer.

Camille Hanuise, a campaigner for more bicycles in Paris, welcomed the news.

"Just two years ago, the idea of cycling up to the Olympic sites was unthinkable," she said.

Electric scooters and bikes are popular in Paris, with many zapping up and down existing bike lanes across the capital.

Belliard said all new cycling paths for the Olympics would be made durable afterwards.

To accommodate all visitors, some 10,000 bike racks would be placed outside key sport sites such as the Roland-Garros stadium on the southwestern edge of the capital and the Champ de Mars arena near the Eiffel Tower.

Another 3,000 lasting parking spots would be added near the Stade de France in Seine-Saint-Denis, regional authorities said.

The capital's bike rental scheme Velib', which has been around since 2007, would add at least 3,000 bikes to its fleet.

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