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Paris uses coronavirus lockdown to improve public spaces for pedestrians and cyclists.

Innovative response

Some of the busiest traffic arteries in Paris will be reserved for cyclists in a bid to limit crowds on public transport when France begins lifting its coronavirus lockdown next week, the city's mayor Anne Hidalgo has said. In total, 50 kilometres (30 miles) of lanes normally used by cars will be reserved for bicycles.

The mayor had already announced last week that the Rue de Rivoli, the main east-west thoroughfare through the heart of the French capital, would be only for bikes starting May 11. Other streets will include the Boulevard Saint-Michel in the Left Bank's Saint-Germain neighbourhood, and the express tunnel under the chaotic roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe.

This initiative is not currently planned to be permament, but Mayor Hidalgo is interested it making it so to enhance the city's green transformation away from private transport.

Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact

Paris officials are bracing for the return of residents after an estimated 20 to 25 percent of its population of some 2.2 million fled to country homes or elsewhere before the nationwide stay-at-home orders came into effect on March 17. This initiative will help spread people out once lockdown starts to be lifted.

Organisations/institutions involved

Paris City