When bike lanes were popping up all over the world to accommodate the COVID-induced bike boom, Paris led by example – with fast and effective temporary infrastructure deployed and famously traffic-ridden roadways transformed into free-flowing bike lanes.
Now Mayor Anne Hidalgo is saying "they will be made permanent" to accommodate for the surge in bike commuters through the city, adding "it also helps to cut pollution".
A transport strategy revolving around bikes is not new to Paris, having invested 150 million euros toward their goal of becoming a "world cycling capital" over the past five years.
This places the French capital in a unique position to capitalise on the pandemic from a cycling perspective and become a bike riding mecca (not just for the final stage of Le Tour de France).
With the plans to double the bike lanes already in place, now some of the most famous thoroughfares, such as the Rue de Rivoli which runs past the Louvre to the bustling Place de la Concorde, will remain closed to car traffic in the wake of the pandemic (with the exception of buses and taxis).
Furthermore, the French government has announced an additional 20 million euros to subsidies for bike repairs or tune-ups, extending a program launched in the early days of lockdown to assist the masses getting off public transport and onto their bikes.
With the city's Velib bikeshare scheme continue to experience record-high users, it seems Paris is one step closer to becoming the a world-class bike riding city, as another great metropolis bends its knee to the bike.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.