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Paris to make every road cycle-friendly by 2024

Joe Robinson
29 Jan 2020

Can UK cities take inspiration by changes in Paris to make their centres more people-friendly?

Paris could be set to blaze a path for British cities like London and Manchester as Mayor Anne Hidalgo pledged to make every street 'cycle-friendly by 2024' if reelected.

The current mayor, and Socialist Party candidate for March's election, announced plans to introduce a cycle path to every road in the capital as well as making key roads inaccessible to motor traffic to further her 'ecological transformation of the city' that will improve the 'daily life of Parisians'.

Furthering her 'Plan Velo' approach from her first term, Hidalgo also promised the implementation of segregated cycleways on all of the city's bridges as well as replacing inner city car parking with allotments and children's playgrounds.

These come as part of Hidalgo's Ville du Quart d'Heure (city of fifteen minutes), a system based upon the 'chrono-urbanism' concept created by Professor Carlos Moreno of the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne.

It looks to make all aspects to essential life accessible within quarter of an hour, negating the need for motorised vehicles, adapting to the current population's need for 'hyper-proximity'.

Moreno is a firm believer in the radical transformation of designing 'petrol-powered transport' out of modern lifestyle as a way of preserving the quality of life in the future.

Mayor of Paris Hildago has already begun adopting Moreno's ideas since election in 2014.

In 2016, she announced that the iconic eight-laned Champs Elysees would be shut to all motorised vehicles for one Sunday every month in a bid to combat pollution.

The idea was such a success that, from 2018, it was then rolled out to further parts of the city with roads being shut for the first Sunday of every month in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements.

If a success, you would hope that other cities are encouraged to follow in Paris's footsteps.

London experimented with car-free days last September shutting 20km of city roads on a Sunday. Mayor Sadiq Khan was encouraged by the overall response to the scheme, however nothing has been suggested for widening the idea beyond a few days.

At the turn of the year, York announced it was to become the first UK city to ban all 'non-essential car journeys' from its centre within three years.

Labour councillor Jonny Crawshaw created the plan with little push back by residents after he said the 'public mood is changing - particularly in relation to climate change.'

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