Over the next four years, France is set to spend 2 billion Euros (or around $2.2 billion at the current rate of exchange) to make it easier and safer to get from place to place by bicycle. That’s the big takeaway from a new Reuters report (via Autoblog) that goes into the details of how the money will be spent — and what some of the implications of it might be.
It’s not hard to see the appeal of bicycling — both from the ability to get around a city quickly without dealing with parking a car and from the health benefits that it can provide. Reuters notes that the French government sees bicycles as something that residents can use throughout their life, from childhood to old age.
Each year from 2023 to 2027, Reuters reports, the French government will spend 250 million Euros (a little over $275 million) on new bicycle lanes around the country. It sounds like the focus will be on more rural areas where there are few to no existing bike lanes at present.
Part of France’s governmental investment in cycling will be directed towards subsidizing the purchase of new and used bicycles.
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It’s worth noting that some recent advances in bicycle technology — including the rise of electric bikes — continue to offer health benefits to their riders. If France’s initiative works out for all involved, it could serve as a roadmap for other regions to implement something similar.