A recent New York Times story had a lot of us Parisians up in arms. It’s mayhem on rue de Rivoli and streets across Paris, we’re told, as bikes take over and the mayor pursues an ambitious goal of making the city a European cycling capital by 2024. The journalist includes comments such as “it’s like anarchy! everyone is just doing as they please. There are no police, no fines, no training and no respect.”
Not only did it sound like a car wrote most of the piece but it was sensational and in many cases, incited fear of a process that is quite standard. The growing pains of a city in the midst of a transformation like this are to be expected. But the automobile lobbies make a lot of noise and so, what is a necessary change to the very urban fabric of Paris is seen as an unbearable complication to daily life.
To talk about this cycling revolution in the city I’m joined by a former guest of the show, Nicolas le Goff, an urban scout, author, and longtime cyclist. How safe is it to ride in Paris? You’ll find out.
Photo by Behzad Ghaffarian