Like London, Paris is now building fast bike lanes free of motorized vehicles, as mentioned in this article from City Lab. Last year the first part of this network opened along the Bassin de l’Arsenal, part of the Reseau express velo (REVe). “Reve” means “dream” in French, and such a separated bike system in a city known for its traffic and complexity will be welcomed. The Mayor Anne Hidalgo has stressed the importance of an active and pollution free city in her bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. The intent is to have 45 kilometers of bike lanes free of motorized vehicles in place across Paris by 2020. Remember this is Paris-with lots of traffic, and a pretty dense urban form.
Paris has just been awarded the World Wildlife Fund’s Global Earth Hour Capital 2016 for their leadership in banning older polluting cars, extending public transportation and implementing a review process through a centralized Climate Agency to ensure goals of sustainability are met for current and future citizens.
If we were to create the same separated bicycle highways in Vancouver outside of the downtown and Seaside Greenway, what streets should they be located on, and how would they be prioritized? Would we use the existing bikeway network, remove some parking and install barriers? Would the first priority be strengthening dedicated fast bike lane connections to and from SkyTrain and Canada Line stations? Or do we look at Greenways, that network of 140 kilometers of street that are for pedestrian and bicycle users ahead of motorized traffic as the dedicated fast bike streets of the future?