how the municipality intends to transform the city center through projects to improve circulation by bicycle and car

Ecologists are celebrating their two-year term at the helm of Strasbourg, preparing to launch a series of hearings on a topic that is high on their agenda: mobility and sharing public space in the heart of the city. They presented their ideas before launching the debate.

This is one of the files, even THE priority file that the Strasbourg Director wants to promote at the end of his term: how to get better access to and circulate in the center of Strasbourg?

A file that has many: how to pacify the relationship between cyclists, who are always more, and pedestrians, who are still the majority in the heart of the city? How do you take into account motorists that environmentalists want to see stay out of the city center as much as possible? How do you handle the difficult question of parking when the priority is to free up space to make it greener?

These are all issues that the municipality wants to address in full. “It’s like a big tetris, where everything has to fit togetherdelivers Mayor Jeanne Barseghian at the time of the opening of a wide sequence of consultations, which will be spread over several months. We can not think of creating green areas or social life without thinking about the need to be able to park cars elsewhere than on the road … If we want to walk or build bike paths, buses must be driven elsewhere …. “

First meeting scheduled for the people of Strasbourg on Wednesday 22 June to present the main issues of this reflection, the timetable for projects and the main ideas already presented. “We want to listen to residents and economic actors. Sharing and using public spaces is everyone’s business. But we need a framework, explains the mayor. Not everything will be possible. “

And that is why this framework, built on several axes, is presented on 22 June. Here are the highlights.

Strasbourg, cycling capital, yes. But not at the expense of pedestrians. “Traveling in the city center is first on foot. Then by bike, then by public transport and finally by carexplains Sophie Dupressoir, the elected representative with responsibility for the cycling and walking city. And that’s what we need to think about. ‘

The “ring”, a kind of device for soft driving, will therefore have a pedestrian route, “the masterful pedestrian”, strictly separated from the bike path. A set that will borrow the inner quays of the island ellipse so you can bypass the hypercentre and unload it.

“This will provide much smoother bike routes, pedestrians will be safer, and there will be fewer bikes in the pedestrian areas in the center. There will be equipment along the entire route so you can attach your bike if you want. Go there. And the ring will be connected to a number of existing cycle paths. “

The platforms must therefore be free of all traffic, especially buses. These are to be pushed back to the outermost quays of the island ellipse from the end of 2023, while the start of development work on this multimodal ring is announced at the end of 2022.

And as it is a matter of public transport, the municipality is dependent on two priority projects to expand its offer in the city center: the high service bus line G, which today runs between the company’s European area in Schiltigheim and Strasbourg station, will be extended to the south part of Eurometropolis, and will serve key locations such as the civilian hospital or the police station. 12 new stations should be offered, operated every 7 minutes from 4:30 in the morning until midnight, the city promises, for commissioning scheduled for the end of 2023, thanks to an investment of 14.7 million euros.

In the northern part of the territory, it is the extension of the tram to Schiltigheim and Bischheim that will accelerate the transformation of habits to go from the first ring to the center, the elected representatives hope. A tram that will pass avenue des Vosges and Place de Haguenau, key areas of Strasbourg, has therefore been rebuilt, another line of work on which reflection is launched.

“We have a magnificent avenue with a protected heritage that we do not take advantage of. And at the end, Place de Haguenau, with a park that is far too difficult to access.”, apologizes to the mayor. Avenue des Vosges, as that is what it is all about, needs to be thoroughly redesigned as the tram has to pass through it, and especially the circulation of bicycles, remains difficult there despite the cycle paths laid out after a long struggle for associations.

The Greens dream of being able to largely vegetate these very mineral spaces, as well as another very popular place for Strasbourg residents, the Place des Halles. This sector will also be at the heart of discussions “restoring the coexistence of different modes of transport and uses of public space and significantly expanding green spaces”, says City Hall. A budget of 4 million euros is planned for this sector of Les Halles alone with the aim of completing it before the end of the mandate in 2026. Residents and economic actors are invited to share their ideas and views in the autumn so that work can start in 2024 .

And the car in all this? “I was not chosen to favor the car’s place in the city centerstrikes Jeanne Barseghian immediately. But I’m well aware that she’s part of the debate. ” Because there are residents who need their car – even though “only 40% of Strasbourg households own a car”, according to estimates from marie -, and therefore to be able to park it. For companies to be able to deliver. But also because in order to create new green areas, squares, cycle paths, space must be freed up on the road. And thus free up parking spaces.

Parking is a problem on Strasbourg’s 700 kilometers of roads

Pierre Ozenne, Deputy Mayor in charge of common public spaces and roads

“When you want to bring a public meeting to life, you mention parking, and then you leave! It’s a tense topic.admits Pierre Ozenne, deputy mayor in charge of common public spaces and roads. On the 700 kilometers of roads in Strasbourg, this is a problem. “

To which the elected representative brings the beginning of an answer: construction of new parking lots. Three new structures are planned, in the districts of Neustadt, Neudorf and Montagne Verte, “in silos (on the surface, and not underground, editor’s note) because it is cheaper to build, and above all reversible, the day when it is no longer needed. ” Locations have been identified and discussions started with private companies, “because there is no reason why the budget for these buildings should completely burden the communities and because these companies have interesting expertise in the field. ‘

Parking lots that in these neighborhoods would also free up space in the streets freed up for cars that residents could reclaim. In any case, this is the scenario presented by the municipality, which it will share with the main stakeholders from 22 June and for several months with the desire to give the center of Strasbourg a new face. The challenge is still to go from scenario to action.

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