How to encourage bicycle use in dense suburbs

Does the bicycle present a challenge for the periphery?

Since the 1990s, bicycling has not merely been a hobby or a sport, but is once again considered a utilitarian mode of transport in France. In the city centers of many cities, it has brought about re-modelling, and promotional
operations on a major scale, such as Vélo’v in Lyon, Vélib in Paris, etc. Accompanying the gentrification of urban centers, cycling enjoys the image of a sustainable means of transport,  which is dynamic and modern.

However, this success remains highly localised, both spatially and socially. It
primarily concerns inhabitants of central urban areas and people who are
young or belong to high-end socio-professional categories. This research aims to examine this localisation precisely, in order to explore the conditions for its transfer to suburban neighborhoods. 

Territorial issues for the development of bicycle usage as a means of transport
are no longer concerned solely with the city-centre, but with the nearby densely populated urban rings which
are often characterised by a lacking supply of public transport, numerous urban cut-outs
, a fairly marked social fragmentation of space and… marginal usage
of the bicycle. Even though this means of transport could be an essential ingredient
within the transport system, thus overcoming the deficiencies in urban planning in these neighbourhoods, it is most often seen only for its “leisure virtues.”

Objectives of the study

The scope of our research, therefore, is double:

(1) To identify obstacles to bicycle usage in densely populated areas;

(2) To highlight the conditions necessary for the development of cycling in suburban areas,in terms of urban planning, equipment, interconnection, and communication.

 


 

Want more information ?

Magazine Ville et vélo, n°35, Etude vélo/banlieue : le vélo,  un enjeu pour la périphérie (p.16-18) – summary report in French

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