“There is no bicycle network that can be set up without restricting the car”

An increase of +21% in the fourth quarter of 2021, which is confirmed in 2022 by +12% in April (compared to April 2021). The practice of cycling in the Bordeaux metropolis continues to increase in force, observed since 2016.

“This figure of + 21% in the last quarter of 2021 is really impressive, but we remain cautious because it can also be explained by the somewhat special period that we have known, between incarceration, teleworking,” analyzes Florent Coignac, head of the “active fashion department in Bordeaux Métropole. Human mobility has been slightly disrupted, with a decrease in the use of public transport in particular,” he continues.

“We could double, or even more, the number of cyclists”

However, Florent Coignac confirms an upward trend over several years, “which can be partly explained by the policies implemented in this area, with more and more developments, such as bus lanes shared by bicycles on the boulevards, and the calming of neighborhoods , which makes people feel safer. “

For the Vélo Cité association, these figures confirm “a fundamental increase”. “There is a real cycling effect that is not stopping at the moment,” assures Benoit Gilliot, coordinator of the association. This is explained by the consequences of the Covid crisis and the climatic imperatives that also come into play. However, there is a huge reserve of cyclists: we could double or even more the number of cyclists in the big city, but for that we need facilities where people do not ask questions, where there are no conflicts, and where a child can ride without the parents are worried. »

270 km Express Network in 2030

It was here that the metropolis released its ReVE card, the Réseau Vélo Express. Composed of fourteen structuring and secure axes, this plan should enable the development of 270 km of cycle paths by 2030, “of which we estimate that about a quarter are already in place and satisfactory, half need to be improved, and a quarter are not equipped at all.” says Florent Coignac.

Operating phases have already been launched for two axes, Bordeaux-Parempuyre and Bordeaux-Artigues, “on which there are already a lot of existing or planned developments. A delivery of these first two axes is foreseen in 2024. For the other twelve, in 2022 conducted a major programming study to prioritize the lines to be delivered between 2025 and 2030.

“We have to put the funds into what we have been able to do for the tram”

This scheme awaits the associations with excitement. “The challenge is colossal with work that will cross the entire metropolis,” explains Benoit Gilliot. We must not be afraid to start a significant work in relation to crossings, with tunnels, bridges … We must provide the funds that we have been able to make for the tram, knowing that there is no bicycle network that can put in place without having to restrict the car, whether it is in the roadway or in the parking lot. »

However, Florent Coignac warns that “we can not bet everything on ReVE”, precisely because we “can not create facilities of 1.5 m to 2 m traffic per direction everywhere, except to severely limit the car.” Which does not mean “That nothing needs to be done” where there will be no express network. “We can put quality bicycle facilities in the neighborhoods.”

Bordeaux Métropole aims for a modal share of 18% of cyclists

If Vélo Cité apparently strongly encourages this development, the association remains on guard. “We are always on guard because there are still divergent projects that are coming out at the moment, such as the end of the future Simone-Veil bridge on the left bank, with a route that forces bicycles to turn around to cross “Benoit Gilliot apologizes. At Euratlantique, it’s the same thing we see projects delivered that are worthy of the early 2000s, or even earlier, with interruptions and posts everywhere.”

This does not prevent practice from evolving. Bordeaux Métropole aims for an 18% modal share for cycling in 2030, compared to 14% in 2021, while aiming to reduce the car share from 50% to 33% at the same time.

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