25 February 2011

Lyon Pushes for More Bicycles

Lyon, France's third-largest city is moving quickly forward to create a more bicycle-friendly future. Above is the Mayor of Lyon and other dignitaries opening a double-wide lane for cyclists in a shared bus route corridor.

Is France the Next Big Thing when it comes to bicycle infrastructure and increasing the number of Citizen Cyclists?

Here's an article about Lyon's intiatives:

Since July 2003, Greater Lyon has established and developed what it called "the soft mode map". The plan revolves around a simple desire: to offer a clean alternative to car use by developing green travel in the city - whether by bicycle, scooter, rollerblades or walking.

With an estimated price of €90 million for the period 2008 to 2014, the plan is aiming at soft mode expansion to 5% of modal share for bicycle use by 2014 and 7.5% by 2020. To meet this objective, the action plan focuses of adding over 200 km of cycle paths, at 30 km per year.

The balance sheet at the end of 2010 outlines the types of development achieved: 25% of the infrastructure are bicycle paths, 25% are greenways (mix of pedestrians and bicycles, as is the case, for example, on the banks of the Rhone), 24% are on-street bike lanes, 16% are bi-directional bike lanes, and 10% are bike lanes shared with busses.

Encompassing all of this typology, 400 km of routes have already been built in the city - 90 km of it since 2008.

However, Gerard Collomb, mayor of Lyon, said that "despite excellent progress, the dialogue continues with merchants, who are not particularly thrilled to see all the construction work outside their storefronts."

Another field of action to promote bicycle use is the development and diversification of services, in particular the bike share programme Vélo'v.

The traffic information signs will also be requisitioned in April 2011 in favor of Vélo'v, and communicate timely data.

Jean-Louis Touraine, deputy mayor, summarizes the soft mode plan initiatives. "There is maximum satisfaction since the introduction of intermodal facilities and offerings.

The safety of all is pretty well assured. And we achieved a 15% drop in traffic, which is a significant shift, and which will continue to improve. With this strategy, we ensure that cyclists are better respected and the pedestrians are better protected."

On Wednesday, Senator-Mayor of Lyon, Gerard Collomb, inaugurated the two-way path serving the axis between Place Jean-Macé/avenue de Grande-Bretagne.

It is a double-laned bicycle route in a single bus corridor, and it will link to many existing routes.

Via: Villes Cyclables on Twitter and Le Progres newspaper)

And here's a little film from Lyon in 2008 showing citizens protesting for bicycle infrastructure:

Traçage de la piste cyclable - Chambéry (73) - 23/02/08
Uploaded by chichechambery. - Watch the latest news videos.
The city listened.

Thanks to Martin on Twitter for the link to the film.


Simon said...

I last cycled in Lyons in 2006 (I think) and it was pretty shit then.

shuichi said...

The mayor and other middle aged persons seem to be starting to pedal bicycles. But it is interesting. Hang in there Lyon!

LGV said...

it's not easy for Lyon because it's surronded by mountains...

Anonymous said...

Let's hope France catches up quickly regarding bicycle culture.
I'm now living in France and the cycling infrastructure and mentality is still years behind Belgium, Holland and KBH where I used to live.
The climate is usually better though to cycle :)

guilherme sant'ana said...

Driver ploughs in to Brazilian Critical Mass ride


Anonymous said...

Hi, I would very much like to buy a shirt with one of your slogans "Style over speed". Will it be available any time soon?
Thank you.

lagatta à montréal said...

Mikael, your film seems to be in the nearby, smaller city of Chambéry, rue de Lyon (which would often mean a street or route going to Lyon; there are lots of "rues de Paris" in adjacent suburbs).

I love the guerilla bicycle lane painting, we did this way back in the 1970s in Le Monde à bicyclette www.lemab.ca

shuichi, as per my post, it is obvious that I am also a middle-aged person!

Anonymous said...

I confirm that ride a bicycle is a real adventure in Lyon, mainly due to drivers behaviour (speed, park in the bicycle lane, turn without cchecking). Moreover some street are very dangerous with a lot of pothole in the road, mainly on the suburds. Then when you want to park your bike it's also a real issue...
France and Lyon has a lot to do compared to Danemark, Holland, Belgium, Sweden...

Mathias said...


(Forgive the unfortunate English but I use a translator for convenience)

I am a resident of Lyons, I practice every day the bike and I want to put it all in context:

1 ° No, Lyon is not surrounded by the mountains! There are just two steep hills to the west and northwest. Everything else is flat. (hence the interest to develop the bike).

2 ° This inauguration is a joke: Jean Louis Touraine and Gerard Collomb came by car with a driver who was parked on bike path that have straddled the vélo'v to ten meters time to take pictures.

3 ° These are not regular cyclists, they are not even cyclists at all! the bike is just as embarrassing electoral argument opposing a strong car lobby.

Nevertheless, we should not bite the hand that feeds us. While many facilities in the city of Lyon were made in spite of common sense, this new cycle track is a practical and well designed development.

bike car racks said...

It is good to see France try to catch up the bicycle culture of some of the other European countries. What better way to reduce the carbon emission than encouraging cycle rides?