Growing Pains for Bicycle Access

We’ve been longtime advocates for more bicycle-based transportation options, especially in denser, more urban environments where bikes can be much more practical than driving cars. But as much as we applaud several major cities’ efforts to make that happen, that can definitely create complications. Reducing existing vehicle access can open spaces up for bike and pedestrians, but it can also impact established patterns of commerce, among other things. Finding the right compromise is an ongoing planning experiment in cities all over the world, but Paris offers a unique case study. While New York City has grown to 15 times the size it was in 1860, Paris as a city has remained the same, leaving only 1 in 5 Parisians actually living, and voting, within the city limits.  So as the city itself moves to reduce car trips, only the residents of downtown Paris’ high-end real estate are seeing the benefit, and the city’s outside commuters and businesses are complaining of the logistical hurdles and economic impacts.  Local officials, advocacy groups, and innovative business startups are trying to find a balance.

paris architecture with bike riders in the street