Milan's plan to make its city center more bike-friendly

·2-min read
Cyclists will be able to get around downtown Milan even more safely.

Like most large European cities, the municipality of Milan is planning to overhaul the organization of its city center in order to promote softer and more active forms of mobility. The idea is to build a network of bicycle paths and ultra-modern infrastructure by 2035 that will allow cyclists to travel safely anywhere in the city center and its suburbs.

The city of Milan recently approved the implementation of a vast cycling plan, which includes the construction of 750 additional kilometers of bicycle paths over the next 15 years, linking the entire city center to its outskirts. The aim is to provide sufficient infrastructure for the 2.6 million inhabitants of the Italian conurbation to move around their city easily and safely by bicycle. The city expects that 20% of all urban trips will be made by bicycle by the time it is complete.

Like a spider's web, these 750 kilometers of new cycle paths will be spread across four circular lines in the city center, 16 radial lines to reach the entire suburbs, and four large long-distance greenways that will make it possible to travel right around the city without having to pass through its center. According to calculations, these routes should cover 86% of the city's housing, within a one-kilometer radius.

To carry out this project, the places of residence of the city's inhabitants and their most frequent movements in the city were taken into account. Access to certain key points, such as train stations, hospitals, schools, shopping centers and some subway stations, was also considered.

The new infrastructure will include a whole range of so-called "smart" systems, such as lighting that automatically switches on at night when cyclists pass by, and which recharges during the day, or traffic information displays placed along the entire length of these paths and in bicycle parking lots. Their deployment will be conditional on the development of a vast fiber optic network throughout the city.

Like Paris, Barcelona and Berlin, Milan is striving for a healthier form of urban mobility, favoring the use of bicycles over cars. Note that in addition to facilitating travel for its residents, this plan also seeks to significantly reduce pollution, which is particularly problematic in Milan.

David Bénard

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