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Six in ten users of pop-up bike lanes in Paris are new to cycling, says city’s government

Majority of French capital’s residents want the temporary infrastructure, which has encouraged particularly strong growth in the number of women cycling, to be made permanent

New cyclists account for almost six in ten users of pop-up cycle lanes in Paris, installed first in response to a public transport strike last winter with the network subsequently enlarged due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to figures from the city’s government.

The temporary cycle lanes, many of them on key roads in the heart of the French capital, including Rue de Rivoli as shown in the video below, and other policies aimed at reducing car dependency and fighting climate change, became a key battleground in Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s successful campaign for re-election last year.

> Parisians keep cycling following transport strikes as mayor pledges 100 per cent bike friendly city

According to a report from the Ile de France department, the Hotel de Ville – Paris’s equivalent of London’s City Hall – undertook a study to better understand who is using the new bike lanes. It found that 42 per cent of the cyclists interviewed at 12 different locations within the city were already riding there, prior to December 2019.

Some 14 per cent began cycling during the public transport strike of December 2019 and January 2020, before the first cases of coronavirus in France.

The study also revealed that prior to the pop-up bike lanes being put in place, women made up 36 per cent of cyclists in Paris, which has now risen to 41 per cent.

The proportion of women among new cyclists will therefore, by implication, be even higher – and as studies around the world, including the UK, have consistently shown, perception of danger is one of the biggest barriers to getting more women cycling, and providing safe infrastructure is regularly near the top of the wish list of those who would like to ride bikes.

In terms of socio-professional classification, most new cyclists are employees, or members of “intermediate professions” – spanning a range of jobs from teachers to photographers and insurance brokers – and 86 per cent used public transport before lockdown.

Meanwhile, 87 per cent of cyclists said they were happy with the cycle lanes realised to date, with their most favoured aspects of them being the speed and fluidity of bike traffic that they allow, as well as the greater feeling of safety they provide.

According to a survey commissioned by Réseau Action Climat and conducted last August, 62 per cent of residents of Grand Paris – the wider metropolitan area with a population of more than 7 million people – favour temporary cycle lanes being made permanent, something Hidalgo committed to last year.

Support for keeping the pop-up lanes was greater among those living outside the city’s Boulevard périphérique ring road, at 64 per cent.

There was particularly strong support for keeping the cycle lanes from respondents aged 18-35, some 68 per cent of whom across Grand Paris as a whole want to see the pop-up lanes made permanent.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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10 comments

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hawkinspeter | 3 years ago
10 likes

Build it and they will come

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Hirsute replied to hawkinspeter | 3 years ago
7 likes

Lanes will get jammed and outdated pretty quickly. Which is expensive and means putting residents at risk
Cycle lanes are dangerous because they are mixing slow and fast traffic and different directions.

Rip them out.

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HarrogateSpa replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
4 likes

Lanes, you know, will get jammed, you know, and, you know, outdated, you know...

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Kendalred replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
5 likes

Daddy, Daddy...what's the difference between 'Progressive' and 'Reactionary'?

Well son, let me show you a couple of road.cc articles from the same period in history...

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nigel_s replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
1 like

Copenhagen phoned. Your tea's ready. 

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Prosper0 replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
0 likes

Can we identify and cancel the bots that upvoted this clown?

@hirsute you do realise that the whole point of cycle lanes is to separate fast and slow traffic you muppet:

Avatar
Hirsute replied to Prosper0 | 3 years ago
5 likes

Oh dear
Perhaps you should ask yourself, given the 4 likes
"What have I missed?"

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Compact Corned Beef replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
3 likes

Ooh, ooh, Sir, pick me!

Was it the RBKC council minutes?

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matthewn5 replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
0 likes

WTF does this even mean?

Avatar
Hirsute replied to matthewn5 | 2 years ago
1 like

It means you are very, very late to the party.

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