Better for cyclists, really?

A few green dots, on the copy of a bad student for several years, who is struggling to give a serious pedal kick in the development of the bike. A few weeks before the official publication of the barometer of the federation of bicycle users (FUB), scheduled for February, the first results of this ranking have been revealed on social networks and suggest small improvements in Marseille, designated each year as the least cycle-friendly city in France.

“For the first time this year, in this barometer which is based on a series of questions intended to assess the feelings of cyclists, cyclists were asked to name places”, explains Cyril Pimentel, coordinator of the Marseille collective Vélos en ville and member of the FUB Board of Directors. From these data, the barometer produced a map: in green the places suitable for cyclists, in red those which are not at all.

“There can only be improvements”

Among the few green spots, there is a good part of the Corniche, where a long cycle path was inaugurated in 2019. “We went from a four-lane car by the sea in Monaco Grand Prix mode to more than three ways, recognizes Cyril Pimentel. This cycle path is perfectible but today it is one of the most beautiful cycle paths in France. “The Corniche is a well-separated and secure cycle lane,” agrees Audrey Gatian, deputy mayor in charge of mobility. The main lesson of these first results is perhaps there: when you make secure arrangements, it works! And it doesn’t have to be very expensive. »

Developments which however remain an exception in the second city of France. “Given the state in Marseille, there can only be improvements, plague Cyril Pimentel. Whatever we do, it can only be better! Keep in mind that the green in Marseille will never be the same as the green in Strasbourg. “Several areas of the city center are thus criticized by cyclists, like the Prado, Cours Puget, Baille or Boulevard Charles-Livron on the Old Port, very close to the motorway exit. “These are places where there is plenty of room to do something good for bicycles and where nothing is being done today,” regrets Cyril Pimentel.

Delay in the implementation of the bicycle plan

And to note: “There are not many colors in the northern districts, because not many people today cycle there. And for good reason: there is absolutely nothing. There are two cycle lanes fighting a duel, one at the Tuileries, the other at La Castellane. If we had to have red, it’s over there! »

A bitter observation that falls as the city’s bicycle plan, voted in 2019 for implementation until 2025, is halfway through. “We made an assessment of this plan, and we see that not much has been done, deplores Cyril Pimentel. Since we are halfway through the stage, half of the planned cycle paths should have been completed. In reality, it is estimated that between 15 and 20% has been done. We have taken a considerable delay, which will not be caught up, because no study has been launched. So we estimate that tomorrow, in the long term, between 20 to 25% of the cycling plan will really be carried out. »

“There is no major progress on the issue of cycling facilities, regrets Audrey Gatian. We sent a series of proposals a year ago, and for the moment, we have not heard back. But in the transfer of powers currently under discussion as part of the reform of the metropolis, the town hall could recover the road authority. Things could therefore, perhaps, move! “Contacted, the metropolis has not responded to our requests at the time of writing.


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