Developing smooth mobility in the city by giving more space to cycling and walking, in Mulhouse the city council shows a willingness to do so in consultation with residents.
Mulhouse intends to transform. In 2025, the aim of the city and its agglomeration is to make the city calmer thanks to the development of the so-called “soft” mobility, bicycles, scooters, walking, while reducing the square of car. The general scheme of the project consists of the expansion of the pedestrian area of the historic center and the urbanization of bike lanes in the agglomeration on about ten main axes.
Mulhouse, then, is changing, yes, but consulting with its people, says Cécile Sornin, deputy mayor in charge of participatory democracy: “We need to change the relationship between the city, the citizens and the decision-makers“.
“With this gentle mobility project we have launched car-free days, with the idea of calming traffic and seeing how residents take advantage of these new opportunities.During these days, the opinions of users are collected on the ground through workshops led by municipal officials. The results of these opinions are posted on the Mulhouse platform, it’s you as you go.
“After this consultation phase, we return to the inhabitants to tell them what has been selected.“, adds Cécile Sornin. The” Mulhouse is you “platform, launched in 2015, also allows for live feedback via online questionnaires.”People’s participation is important – even if you know your record, you say to yourself “oh yeah, it might be a good idea”. Thanks to the locals, we dig and think differently. We have to make sure that the people are an actor“.
“There is agreement in principle on the idea of moving around the city by bike rather than by car, but moving to reality requires a lot of pedagogy.“In the city center, if shopkeepers can rightly ask themselves how customers will get there without a car, Cécile Sornin answers:”we will arrange the logistics of the last mile in deliveryAnd for some as a baby gets older, he or she will outgrow this.
“The challenge these days without cars is to lift the brakes and fears. “, explains the elected official in charge of participatory democracy. “Ohn alters many habits ” but in general the opinions would be quite favorable.
Robert Soussan, a trader in the city center since 1985, confirms this. “it should be done in consultation and gently. I met a time when we returned to the city center, Reunion Square, with his car. Today we have a pedestrian center and it is more beautiful. As a former local trader, I see it very well, it is a positive evolution.“.
But there is an important condition according to him: “PSince people like to go to the city center, they need the possibility of parking nearby“As for the people who go on scooters, Robert Soussan is not losing his temper.”They believe that everything is allowed. The growing flow of these devices is becoming a problem“.
On the user side, according to the CADRes association, which has been active in Mulhouse for more than 40 years, the city would present a failed project on soft mobility. “In Strasbourg, they have tram projects, public transport, to expand the offer, in Freiburg, Germany, there is an extension of the tram. In Basel, Switzerland, there is talk of a 2030 metro project, in Mulhouse, nothing. The city announces smooth mobility, but offers nothing for public transport, we can’t ask everyone to travel by bike. It is a city where the car is moving all the time“, sums up Dominique Rosenfeld, the association’s treasurer.
“They should start by believing in it“, he continues, naming those responsible for the project. A project that qualifies as DIY, limited to small parts in certain areas of the agglomeration. A severe trial. By comparison, bicycle trips to Mulhouse represent just 3% of the global flow, while in cities like Strasbourg the figure is around 16% and more than 40% in Amsterdam.