The news we see coming out of Bordeaux is good. The city appears to have rounded a corner and is looking at bicycle urbanism more seriously than ever before.
A strong combination of political will and local advocates just may prove to push Bordeaux to the next level. In 2016, the City voted and approved their Plan Vélo Métropolitain (2017-2020) and this cycling plan has the declared goal of 15% modal share for bicycles.
In order to make that happen, a team of people dedicated to active transportation has been formed. The City is sending delegations to Copenhagen in order to study Best Practice and is organising training on infrastructure design for employees in Bordeaux Metropole.
There is serious talk of removing cars from one of the main bridges over the Garonne River and dedicate it to bikes, pedestrians and buses. The city’s bike share system continues to plant the bicycle firmly back on the asphalt as transport.
Bordeaux is the only city in France with a gender split that sees more women cycling than men. For example, women made up 53% of the cyclists crossing the Pont de Pierre bridge and the 2017 mobility week is dedicated to women.
Mayor Alain Juppé has often spoken fondly about cycling for transport but there is now serious work beginning. €75 million dedicated to cycling is certainly a good start.
In order to achieve the goal of 15% modal share for bicycles, serious work must done on improving the cohesiveness of the infrastructure and completing the network. Traffic calming and re-allocating space from cars to bikes is paramount. If the momentum in the city is real... use it.