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“It's about creating a city that is for its people rather than for private vehicles”

Protecting cyclists and ending the reign of the automobile is the goal of a vast urban plan that was voted on this week by the city of New York.

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New York has decided to strike a blow against the automobile kingdom: $ 1.7 billion will be spent on the creation of 400 kilometers of protected bike paths, over five years. Objective: to eliminate the particularly high mortality among cyclists. “We are having a hard time, extraordinarily painful weeks”admitted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio a few weeks ago. Twenty-five cyclists have been killed since the beginning of the year, something that has not been seen in two decades. “It must stop and today we take another step to prevent, finally, that it does not happen again”announced the elected.

New York is a city where the car is queen. Bike paths are too rare, often congested and unsecured. Aaron crosses the East River every day by bike to work at Union Square. It is necessary, he says, to remain concentrated.

I love it, it's exciting but it's actually risky. I took a door, recently.Aaron, a New York cyclistat franceinfo

“Yes, it's very dangerousAaron agrees. But I have an alarm, lights, a mirror … It's a shame that there are so many big cars on the road. We should at least tax them. “

Helmets or flashing lights … This type of equipment, John, the arm in a splint after a recent fall, sells more and more. He runs the NYC Velo shop in Manhattan. “It is our role that people are well equipped, many worry about their safety, want to avoid contact with motorists because the bike, all alone, is rather safe.” John dreams of a different city, “It's about creating a city that is for its people rather than for private vehicles.”

For the 800,000 New Yorkers who cycle regularly, the plan unveiled by the city is great news. Danny Harris is head of Transportation Alternatives, which is campaigning to end the car's grip on public space. “Our world has an addiction for cars, New York will not be the same after this law, it's not just money, it's New York that puts its residents first rather than cars. it's not about bikes, it's not about buses, it's about New Yorkers and their opportunities. “

The road is not expandable, motorists will have to make a reason. Between this plan and the urban toll announced for 2021, driving in New York will become even more complicated.

New York at war with the car, a report from Loig Loury.

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