Coronavirus: boulevards soon to be turned into bikeways in Paris?

Published by Alexandre G. · Published on 15 April 2020 at 16h29
The day after French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed the day to start phasing out measures, naming May 11, Paris deputy mayor Emmanuel Grégoire told BFMTV some boulevards in town could be temporarily turned into bikeways in order to prevent pollution from returning “too massively to public transit”.

Creating temporary to meet needs related to the crisis” so is the new goal of Paris mayor as the country is on lockdown. The day after the President addressed on the extension of confinement to May 11, 2020, Paris first deputy mayor spoke to BFMTV about the possibility to temporarily turn Paris boulevards and streets into bikeways. An “option that is being consideredEmmanuel Grégoire says, that would smooth mobilities in Paris.

Of course, the first announcement from the authorities since the beginning of the period of the “after confinement” sparks conflicts as for the conditions of the recovery process. Now that we know when (May 11 for those who didn’t follow the news), it’s time to know how. President Macron said it, deconfinement will be gradual and schools will be the first to resume, along with jobs to free little by little the sectors the worst hit, such as events, tourism and culture.

Yet, recovery process cannot suit all cities. In Paris, world megalopolis, it would translate into crowded subways, broken social distancing and a risk of propagation way too high. It would also ruin all efforts made so far. This is what Anne Hidalgo deputy works on “the possibility to create temporary bikeways”. A “tactic urban planning” concept which is Christophe Najdoski’s priority who’s entrusted with mobilities, strategy consisting in “creating temporary solutions to meet needs related to the crisis”. So, the population can “let go of public transit”. Unclogging subways for filling boulevards and spacing people up.

Of course, the deputy doesn’t hide it. It’s also a measure to “encourage biking” as Parisians can enjoy more and more bikeways in their city. So far, no street not boulevard has been unveiled as municipal services are still thinking about this option. Emmanuel Grégoire confirms it, the City of Pariswill have the occasion to give more details in the upcoming weeks”. As of today, they have until May 11, 2020 to bring a definitive answer to the post-confinement mobility in Paris issue.

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