- The Lyon metropolitan area will have its first bicycle motorway by 2026.
- Ultimately, 250 kilometers of cycle paths should connect the 59 cities of the metropolis to the center of Lyon.
- The first section has just been unveiled.
An “ambitious but possible” project, in the words of Bruno Bernard, the ecological president of the metropolis of Lyon. The Greens, who ended last year 19 years of Collomb reign, have never hidden their desire to cycle, the (little) queen of travel in order to significantly reduce the share of car traffic.
The objective, already presented in their electoral program: to triple bicycle trips by 2026 throughout the country. For this, the Greens have just unveiled part of their “REV”, an express network by bicycle, the implementation of which was budgeted at 100 million euros. A first “bicycle motorway”, in other words, which will initially include 250 kilometers of cycle paths making it possible to link the municipalities of the agglomeration to the city center of Lyon. “A commitment to the end of urban highways”, welcomes Grégory Doucet, the mayor of Lyon.
Create 150 km of cycle paths within five years
One hundred kilometers already exist, it will therefore be necessary to create 150 in the next five years. The first section was acted on Friday: 17 kilometers between Saint-Fons and Vaulx-en-Velin. In detail, the route will start from the chemistry valley in Saint-Fons, where thousands of people currently work, to reach the Halle Tony Garnier in Lyon, along the banks of the Rhône to the Churchill bridge, using the facilities already made. It will then be a question of pedaling to the Doua campus in Villeurbanne, then to the Mas du Taureau district of Vaulx-en-Velin, which will act as the terminus, and thus connect to the future T9 tramway.
“It is a major stake to open up the working-class districts”, rejoices from the outset Hélène Geoffroy, the mayor PS of the commune. “The express bicycle network will make it possible to pay particular attention to the most economically fragile inhabitants who suffer from precarious mobility. It is an efficient, inexpensive travel solution available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ”argues Fabien Bagnon, vice-president for roads and active mobility.
The lack of secure tracks, a “brake on cycling”
For Bruno Bernard, the current “lack of secure cycling infrastructure” “is an obstacle to cycling”. However, the demand is there, he emphasizes, with supporting statistics: “Except confinement, cycling attendance increased by 30% last year compared to 2019. It is the only mode of which the number of trips increased ”.
The future “secure” developments should, according to him, encourage people to get in the saddle more. Road widening works are already planned, particularly along the banks of the Rhône. But also in the towns crossed by this first route. Which is not without already raising some fears. “There is no room for the REV to pass through the main street of Oullins as planned,” immediately underlines Clotilde Pouzergue, the town hall to 89 Lyon Street. It is a question of putting cars in one direction, or of shortening the sidewalks, but that does not suit me. “
While most of the improvements have already been carried out for this first section, the question remains to know what are planned for the rest of the network, which will be unveiled in September after consultation with the 59 mayors of the Lyon metropolitan area and the user associations.