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Florian Bonet
Ingénieur Systèmes - BU Rail
Published on September 07, 2020

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The bike solution: catering to urgent needs and planning the long term

In recent months that have seen a sudden lockdown followed by an exit, much thinking has gone into mobility. Following a drastic reduction in our amount of travel due to the Covid crisis, this is very gradually resuming again, with a weaker modal share for public transport and an explosion in “active” forms of mobility which have sometimes benefited from temporary, so-called “tactical” measures.

piste cyclable

- Crédits : ARochau - AdobeStock

The engineers at Egis are also working on the “world afterwards”. In particular, the aim is to accompany the momentum in favour of active mobility through the integration of better solutions to improve the multimodal combination of different means of transport, following standard French practices, with a view to the long term.

While the star of lockdown exit is the bike, there was already a growing underlying trend before the health crisis, and this must be further supported to enable it to flourish in the longer term and in the safest conditions.

The idea, then, is to introduce a “bike system” which will require a cross-cutting and wide-ranging approach. The following items have been identified to launch this process:

  1. Allocate the necessary space in the city for active mobility: widen pavements and create cycle lanes that are substantial enough to absorb the number of bikes aimed for in the long term.
  2. Create inter-city cycle paths to enable people who live a long way from their workplace to cover longer distances (15-20 km) quickly and comfortably.
  3. Improve inter-modal transport changes: make it easier to park bikes in stations, provide more space for bikes on trains, offer the chance to hang bikes off the back of buses… each situation has an appropriate solution.
  4. Promote everyday micro transit as a remedy to a sedentary lifestyle. Cycling means good health!
  5. Reduce cycling accident frequency and gravity. Developing the awareness of everyone – young cyclists, young drivers, HGV drivers, etc. is the first step. Infrastructure design can also help to lower accident rates but is undoubtedly the most complicated issue to implement.
  6. Deter thieves. Many city dwellers give up cycling when their faithful steed is stolen. Building and operating appropriate parking solutions (locked bike parks, bike lockers, etc.) located close to service facilities, stations, residential and employment areas, will help to ensure that you won’t have to go the last mile on foot.
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