Paris d?veloppe ses doubles sens cyclables en 2010. La R?publique du Centre, January 10, 2010.
Over the course of the year, Paris will gradually extend two-way cycling in 30 kph zones.
The Second and Eleventh arrondissements (districts) of Paris will see changes in mid-January as work begins. Marking will start in the Eighteenth and Twentieth arrondissements in mid-February, according to the Mayor’s office.
Two-way cycle routes consist of two lanes, one open to both cars and bicycles, the other available only to cyclists. Bicycles are thus allowed to ride in directions that are illegal for cars, giving them greater mobility.
After the Second, Eleventh, Eighteenth and Twentieth arrondissements, all the other neighborhoods of the French capital will benefit in turn from this improvement and special dispensation. All in all, more than 60 neighborhoods will introduce two-way cycle routes by the end of the year.
The mayor’s office is taking advantage of an interpretation of the traffic laws allowing cyclists to ride in either direction on streets where the speed limit is 30 kilometers per hour (18 miles per hour) or less, when authorized by law enforcement agencies. Many other municipalities in France have already adopted this arrangement, including Bordeaux, Nantes, Strasbourg and the Paris suburbs of Colombes, Montreuil and Issy-les-Moulineaux.
Two-way cycle traffic is also found in other countries, particularly in Canada (Montreal), Belgium, Switzerland, Japan, Germany and Denmark.
Paris’s campaign to encourage cycling is bearing fruit. Between 2000 and 2007, the number of cyclists on the streets of the capital jumped 93%. The arrival of Velib’ in July 2007 fit with this pattern: according to surveys conducted by the city, on June 19, 2007 there were 36,396 bicycles ridden on the streets of Paris, and 57,846 on October 16 of that year, of which 37% were Velib’ bicycles.
Since that date, on average 30% of the bicycles ridden in Paris have belonged to the bicycle rental system, and the number of bicycles has consistently grown month after month.