Budget, number of kilometers developed or traveled, the most frequented routes per inhabitant and accidentology … The Toulouse urban planning agency publishes the first observatory for cycling in the greater Toulouse area.
It was time to take stock of cycling. What has been tackled the Urban Planning and Development Agency of the Toulouse Metropolitan Area (AUAT). Its first observatory of the cycling master plan, commissioned by the public transport operator Tisséo, must monitor the implementation and assess the effects of the public policies put in place in favor of cycling. “This observatory is a first brick, the starting point of our work. What can be frustrating is that we will only be able to calculate changes in the years to come, ”admits Bastien Fochesato, project manager at AUAT. Governance, practice, cycling facilities… In addition, the authors of the report warn, as a preamble, that “this observation work takes place during an unprecedented year! The massive teleworking and travel restrictions experienced in 2020 have had a direct impact on practices, but also on the deployment of public investments identified in the Toulouse metropolitan area ”.
“The budget is vastly underestimated”
Logical investments down last year by 16% compared to 2018, to 22.785 million euros, or 21.7 euros per capita. A figure that is too low, whatever the reference year, according to Boris Koslow, the president of the association Two feet two wheels. “Tisséo figures the cost of one kilometer of development at 500,000 euros. It is four times less than in Nantes. The budget voted in Toulouse may seem important, but in reality it is largely underestimated. According to the public transport operator, the number of kilometers of cycling facilities offered on the scale of the Mobility Plan (114 municipalities) has increased since 2016, with nearly 1,350 kilometers in 2020. The AUAT points out that on this total, the more than 200 sensible km correspond to the level of the Express Bike Network, do not yet say the standards, in particular because they must be continuous routes.
27% of roads considered uncomfortable by bicycle
The Géovélo application, a geolocation device powered by its contributors, indicates for its part that three quarters of the network are “separated from car traffic with off-road development” (cycle paths and greenways). And that “27% of roads can be considered uncomfortable by bike”. The data provided by Géovélo also show 247,000 kilometers traveled in the Toulouse urban area in 2020, 68% more than in 2019. “This increase is explained by the increase in the number of users of the application. »Warns the Urban Planning Agency. The most frequented axes are the Canal du Midi, the Saint-Michel bridge and the Pierre-de-Coubertin bridge, the Charles-de-Fitte alleys, the rue de Metz and the cycle paths along the Garonne. “If these routes are popular, it is because they are the most secure”, notes Boris Koslow.
Bicycle accidents and theft
329 accidents involving a bicycle have taken place in the last 4 years in France, including 76 in 2020. In more than 8 out of 10 cases, it is a car that is involved. “The five winners counted this year are acquired at the level of interchanges. This shows that there is a real lack of security on what are called urban ruptures: crossing the ring road, expressways, waterways, etc. ”Bike thefts numbered 3,368 in 2020 in the municipalities of Toulouse, Blagnac, Colomiers and Tournefeuille, an increase of 2% over one year. Thefts of electrically assisted bicycles rose from 10% to 14%, “an evolution correlated with the boom in sales at the national level”, adds the AUAT.
When supply creates demand
Among the lessons learned from the observatory, it is clear that the 12 km of coronapistes created in Toulouse Métropole at the start of the health crisis have met their audience. “This has given greater visibility to the practice of cycling for daily trips and it is a sign that when the public authorities create infrastructure for cycling, users take full advantage of it”, Bastien Fochesato said. Finally, the AUAT recalls that in the 2019 cycle city barometer, Toulouse ranks 8th out of 11 in French municipalities with more than 200,000 inhabitants, with a “rather managerial cycling climate”, according to the 7,000 contributions.