Active mobility, particularly cycling, has seen monumental growth all over the world in recent years. Europe, in particular, is experiencing a surge in bike use – with electric bicycles specifically enjoying steady growth. In fact, in Germany, e-bikes are expected to surpass regular bikes in terms of sales figures in 2023.
That being said, as more and more people embrace biking as a means of mobility, Governments are working towards improving cycling-focused infrastructure. While this is something a lot of people would certainly love to see in the US, it seems that there’s still a long way to go until we begin to see bicycles integrated into the mainstream mobility scene. Perhaps we can take a few hints from our friends over in Europe, particularly in France.
Back in May, 2023, it was announced that France was to invest two billion euros towards the development of cycling infrastructure throughout the country. This time around, the French government has announced yet another call for cycling development projects, with the latest one being the seventh call for projects. The program is part of the country’s 2023 to 2027 cycling and walking plan, and will see the injection of a 125 million-euro budget. Come April, 2024, this budget is expected to double, opening doors to even more projects.
The project is headed by Christophe Béchu, the Minister of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, and Clément Beaune, the Minister Delegate for Transport. Through this project, it’s hoped that France’s network of cycling routes would expand even further. Quite frankly, France is one of the most bullish when it comes to pushing for cycling-focused initiatives, so it’s certainly interesting to see how far they can push this. More specifically, the project involves the construction not just of new cycle paths, but also of greenways and dedicated bridges to accommodate cyclists.
While the call for cycling-focused projects is open to the entirety of France, the program emphasizes an inclusive approach by focusing on regions with a lower population density, so as to ensure that these communities are not left behind when it comes to the development of mobility infrastructure. At present, the government has instituted a window from November 22, 2023, to March 8, 2024, for communities and regions to submit applications for projects. Following this, grants will be announced in July, 2024.