“The street for all” – positive consequences of the pandemic for Nantes citizens

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The citizens’ evaluation The street for all, questioning the future of the temporary arrangements put in place after the first confinement in order to promote active mobility, is coming to its end. On February 1, elected officials announced their decision: most of the arrangements will be improved and made permanent.

Cycle routes, pedestrian paths, 30 km/h zone… During the first confinement, 43 temporary arrangements have been put in place in the metropolis. Their objective was to encourage users who, out of concern, wanted to replace the use of public transport with walking, cycling, rollerblading or scootering (rather than driving). Since then, thousands of people in Nantes metropolis have been using these means every day with, of course, a bunch of ideas on what works, what could be improved or should be abandoned. In July, the participatory approach “The street for all” is launched to collect all these contributions. 

Mayor of Nantes and President of Nantes Métropole, Johanna Rolland, stated: “The first lesson we learned from this experience is the need to rethink the user’s place in public space by giving priority to the most vulnerable ones. This is why, in the years to come, the issue of pedestrians will structure our thinking”. 

From July to October, 3,607 contributions were posted online. On November 21, all of these contributions ended up on the table of the sharing seminar which brought together more than 60 participants. 70 proposals, grouped into 7 orientations, were sent to elected officials. 

“We took the opportunity of a full-scale test, but these developments, accelerated by the health crisis, are part of a global strategy which has long provided for the decline in the modal share of the car in urban transport”, said Bertrand Affilé, vice-president of Nantes Métropole in charge of mobility and travel strategies.
“Having to act quickly, we are committed to setting up an innovative consultation mechanism. The quality and high standards of the work carried out by the 40 citizen evaluators and user associations confirm our metropolitan policy of taking into account all the reflections to support change”, added Nicolas Martin, vice-president of Nantes Métropole in charge of soft mobility.
Photo credit: Arturo Castaneyra