Since the déconfinement, the queues have exploded in front of the shops bike. The government has set in place a bonus of 50 euros to repair his old bicycle. But for the economist of transport Frédéric Héran, this does not mean that there will be a boom for the bike.Since the déconfinement, the French are more likely to go to the shops bike, as well as here in La Rochelle, france, on may 14, 2020. (JULIEN FLEURY / FRANCE BLEU LA ROCHELLE)
“There will definitely be a revival of the use of the bicycle, but not a boom”, said this Thursday on franceinfo Frédéric Héran, senior economist, transport, urban planner and teacher-researcher at the university of Lille. Despite the queues in front of shops, and the premium put in place by the government, “above all, the cyclists casual who put themselves at the bike all day and who want to join the everyday cyclists”. According to Frédéric Héran, the novices were “afraid soon enough” the dangers of the road.
franceinfo : The hour of the bike is it coming, according to you ?
Frédéric Héran : there will certainly be a return of the bike, a revival of the use it is safe. But will she be important ? I don’t think we will arrive at a boom are very important, for a reason quite simple, because it is mostly cyclists casual who are cycling and who want to join the everyday cyclists. The novices, people who have never made a bike does aventureront not so easily in the urban traffic because there are clear hazards that he must know and he must know foil.
A lot of major cities like Paris, Lyon and also in other european capitals, have been upgraded for the movement of bicycles. Is this not the opportunity to develop a very strong practice in the city ?
Let’s be clear, the practice may not explode. It will increase may be, will double, triple, and more, but I don’t see it really increase more. Because when you are not in the habit of cycling, we fear soon enough. We are afraid of heavy weights, for example, who are a real danger because of the blind spots of these vehicles, the driver does not see necessarily on the sides. There are also the openings of doors up, and the pedestrians that pop up, and then also the difficulty to cross it, being overtaken very closely by cars, “turn left”.. It really takes some getting used to, it takes a bit of training to understand how to avoid them. This is not complicated when you know these key risks, we drive much more safely.
So you think the cyclists that we see, and the bike shops that are overwhelmed, it is something of a passenger and is linked to the epidemic ?
I did not say that it was a passenger, I said that the increase will be really sensitive. This is certainly the mode of travel that will see the greatest increase. Walking, public transport, car or even the powered two-wheeler, none of these modes of transport really has the opportunity to grow strong in the short term, as for the bike, it is possible, but not as much as you hope. It is often believed that these are the people who have never made a bike that will put the bike out of the day to day, but, it is more complicated.