The magazine Ville Rail & Transports has recently singled out the Toulouse Metropolitan Area’s programs by awarding them with the “New Forms of Transportation” prize. It is time to express appreciation for everyone involved in these policies. This distinguished project has been based on a great deal of voluntary action.
It’s interesting to note that a program concerning the bicycle – an old form of transportation – is today being associated with new forms of transportation. The bike has evolved a great deal in the past years with several technical and design innovations. We are at the point where it is possible to talk about a “bike system” encompassing the entirety of sustainable (or active) transportation, in relation to public places and the objective of implementing rules for the streets. Mixed-mode transportation with public transportation and bikes is another key point.
Greater Toulouse, which has carried out a number of actions, must now scale these projects to fit the needs of the urban area’s residents and the challenges posed by our environmental commitments. Some of these actions include the improvement of bicycle-accessible developments and streets, the extension for various bicycle services (parking, rental, information), encouraging the use of bikes (help purchasing electric bicycles, and a marketing campaign), and lessons for riding bicycles. The question of governance and human resources is yet to be settled. Even less certain is the chance of our organizations for “transportation” becoming organizations for all-around urban mobility.
So, we are only at the beginning of a profound change in our way of getting around, and there will be many challenges in the coming years. The project for “Urban Movement” in the Greater Toulouse metro area places a similar amount of importance on bicycles as on public transportation in order to reduce our dependency on cars. I hope that in the future, people will recognize our urban area for the goals we have reached and our early role in promoting new forms of transportation.
What factors are most important for promoting the use of bicycles in urban areas? Is a top-down approach from governments more effective, or are citizens likely to change their transportation choices themselves?
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.
Original article, originally published in French, here.