Bordeaux is a city crossed by the Garonne. To connect the right bank and the left bank, people use the bridges that have been built along the banks, whether by foot, tram, bicycle, car or bus.
François Mitterrand Bridge, Pont de Pierre, or even more recently the Chaban-Delmas and Simone Veil bridges (project), these are some names among the bridges that allow Bordeaux to move very easily, and they are often present in the photographs that represent the city.
One of Bordeaux’s iconic bridges, the Pont de Pierre, is arguably the city’s best-known bridge. Linking the centre of the left bank to the right bank, this bridge was used daily by 5% of all types of vehicles, which caused, despite the relatively low rate, slowdowns, congestion of roads during rush hour, and pollution more. Bordeaux Metropole, has therefore decided to close the bridge to all traffic other than public transport and cyclists, who represent the majority of users of the bridge.
This new traffic regulations apply from 1 August 2017, to the test for a period up to 30 September 2017. If successful, the city plans to make this rule permanent, so that motorists can no longer pass over the Pont de Pierre, and thus relieve congestion in urban traffic, to encourage Bordeaux to take public transport to get around the city.
This initiative is met with mixed reception for some, who have to take a new route, sometimes a little longer to reach their workplace. This also raises the issue of carpooling: in 74% of cases, motorists crossing the stone bridge were alone in their vehicles. Moreover, for 40% of motorists, the journeys that require taking the bridge are in the very heart of the city of Bordeaux intramural. A trip that can be easily made by public transport, because the city is very well served.
Finally, the choice of this testing period was thought wisely: the metropolis launched the operation in August, because it is the period when car traffic is the lowest in the city, due in particular to the summer holidays, and where cycling trips are the most frequent. This makes it possible to see if it is easy to implement this operation in a more sustainable way.
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