Everyone votes for the bike! Among the candidate lists in the second round of the regional elections, Sunday, June 27, few are those who do not support the rise of the bicycle. Financing of cycle paths, parking in stations and high schools, purchasing aid: more than thirty lists had recorded, before the first round, their proposals on the Parlons Vélo 2021 platform, created by the French Federation bicycle users (FUB) and the Vélo & Territoires network.
“Many candidates are looking for measures that are easy to market politically”, observes Olivier Schneider, president of the FUB, who cites as an example “The festive event around cycling and the Seine” proposed by the list of the right and the center in Normandy, or the “bike-valley” imagined in Hauts-de-France by the ecologist Karima Delli, for whom “The bicycle industry represents a formidable breeding ground for jobs of the future that cannot be relocated and that are sustainable”.
Even the lists that one would think resistant to this non-polluting mode of transport go from their verse. In The Parisian on Thursday 13 May, Jordan Bardella, candidate National Rally (RN) in Ile-de-France, declared himself for “The development of cycle paths, but in a reasonable way”, while denouncing “The infernal war waged on motorists”.
“In the 2015 regional elections, the bicycle was a footnote in the programs. In 2021, it is an essential subject, to the point that it would be a political mistake not to talk about it ”, summarizes Louis Belenfant, director of Collectif Vélo Ile-de-France, which advocates the creation of a “RER V”, “V” for bicycle, a network of cycle paths separated from traffic.
Certainly, “The regions do not have the competence to develop roads”, recalls Lucile Ramackers, consultant for the firm Trans-missions. But, in the territorial millefeuille à la française, “They are the only possible pilot, have sufficient financial resources and an engineering capable of boosting a network”, retorts Mr. Belenfant.
On the other hand, the regions have been fully competent, since 2002, to administer public transport. “Everyone is in favor of the train, while the road, which was the subject of several proposals in 2015, has been very discreet this year in the programs”, observes Philippe Duron, former deputy (Socialist Party, PS) and co-president of TDIE, a think tank specializing in transport.
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