The regulation of new solutions in urban mobility

The solutions available in urban mobility are numerous and call for a global consideration of their integration. At the level of a studied urban mobility perimeter or on the whole territory of France, these solutions impose a necessary regulation.

First, a brief reminder of what urban mobility is (as well as the possible solutions linked to it in terms of transport) will be given. We will then be able to better understand the impacts of these solutions in terms of travel, safety and access for the user public. Because the arrival of such solutions responds to the need for new mobility and this impacts the usual travel practices.

Obviously, the inclusion of new transport needs and, ultimately, new transport solutions inevitably leads the legislator to rule on a law allowing a harmonization of the practices created. Thus, we will be able to study in greater depth the legal solutions provided by the law as well as the concrete responses provided by the study of the services concerned (communities, cities, user groups, administration such as CEREMA, etc.).

Mobilité urbaine et nouvelles solutions : quelle réglementation ?-1

Urban territories and their new mobilities

Urban mobility is defined as the study of all mobility (people and goods) within an urban area. Although such a definition seems relatively easy to grasp on the surface, the fact remains that the plurality of its ramifications is significant in terms of users and means of transport:

  • all personal vehicles such as cars and cabs used for home/work trips ;
  • public transport vehicles (bus, streetcar, metro, etc.);
  • motorized personal transport devices (MPTD);
  • electric or non-electric bicycles (connected or not);
  • pedestrians and athletes on foot ;
  • etc.

The related infrastructures are also to be considered: traditional roads for car-type vehicles, landscaped and protected areas for pedestrians, adapted traffic space for bicycles or MPTs, development of public transport systems (exclusive right-of-way, etc.).

The study of urban mobility consists of analyzing all these factors and their combination and evolution. In this way, solutions can be proposed to meet the new service needs expressed and the new habits established.

Risks and opportunities related to new mobility

The appearance of new modes of transport in the urban space (city, suburbs, city center, etc.), leads to new travel habits that impact positively or negatively the defined transport scheme.

  1. The sudden insertion of electric vehicles (EDPM) has brought real reflections on the safety of their use within the urban space, and in particular on the sharing of such vehicles with pedestrian areas.
  2. The arrival of new means of transport has created new virtuous mobilities (strong increase in journeys made by electric bicycle over significant distances). In particular, this has changed the map of travel between the city center and the suburbs.
  3. The multimodal interconnection of the various means of transport has increased, making it possible, for example, to take a regional express train (TER) with one's electric bicycle while having access to charging stations.
  4. The desire to reduce the use of fossil fuel-based transport solutions is part of a collective awareness reinforced by electric solutions (electric bikes, electric scooters).
  5. And so on.

It is therefore a new urban mobility scheme that needs to be rethought and adapted in order to allow the necessary harmonization of all these new practices, bringing together disparate players within the same urban mobility perimeter.

Mobilité urbaine et nouvelles solutions : quelle réglementation ?-2

The necessary intervention of a regulation in perpetual adaptation

All of these new practices (and the related risks) have forced the legislator to act for the common good in order to respect its obligation to protect people. In addition to this, the implementation of concrete responses to cross-cutting issues (environment, efficiency of public transport, etc.) has also been able to take shape in the footprint of urban transport schemes.

The law to protect individuals in an urban mobility context

Since the arrival on the market of motorized personal transport devices (MPTs), new risks have emerged for users of travel and transport infrastructure. These devices enjoyed a legal vacuum until 2019, when the legislator took up the issue and created a framework.

Thanks to the decree of October 23, 2019, the Highway Code has incorporated these EDPMs and assigned the following obligations to them and their users:

  • drivers must exercise caution for their own safety and that of other users;
  • drivers must not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • no driving of MPVs by persons under 12 years of age;
  • EDPM insurance is mandatory;
  • no driving on sidewalks;
  • no riding on sidewalks; no riding on sidewalks; no riding on bike lanes in the city when they are available;
  • no traffic on roads outside cities and towns;
  • etc.

In 2022 in Paris, the number of accidentsinvolving MPT drivers increased by 28.3%, resulting in 459 injuries and 3 deaths. The legislator has therefore made it possible to consider the problem as well as the legal vacuum that surrounded it. Without being able to stop it entirely by the drifts of the users for example, it is however obvious that such regulations allow to circumscribe the related risks.

Laws and public will for the integration and development of new urban mobility solutions

Continuous reflection on urban mobility has also made it possible to integrate new modes of travel and new transport habits. Thus, the public authorities have been able to carry out their role by accompanying the offer made to users by creating adapted infrastructures as well as areas allowing the evolution of these modes of transport.

  1. The creation of infrastructures dedicated to soft mobility vehicles (continuous bicycle lanes not shared with cars, electric bicycle rental poles and associated services, etc.).
  2. Establishment of financial aid by certain cities for the acquisition of an electric bicycle according to the income conditions of the purchaser.
  3. Creation of multimodal parking facilities (metro/car or car/bus, etc.) as well as carpooling facilities and initiatives.
  4. Etc.

Taking into account environmental regulations related to urban mobility

When talking about urban mobility, there is an intrinsic environmental consideration. Here again, the public authorities, but also users, have not remained inactive in the face of such challenges.

The creation of the "Crit-air" sticker makes it possible to categorize vehicles according to their degree of pollution. Thus, in certain large cities such as Paris, some vehicles cannot travel on days when pollution peaks. In the same vein, the creation of low-emission zones (ZFE) was recently approved by 11 major French cities (Greater Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, etc.). By 2025, no less than 43 cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants are expected to create such zones. Within these zones, the most polluting vehicles can be restricted and the conversion bonus can be increased.

The arrival of electric vehicles (electric bicycles, whether connected or not, electric scooters and other EDPMs, 100% electric cars, etc.) is a response to the challenges of greenhouse gas emissions (emitted by fossil-fuel vehicles). Succeeding in integrating them is therefore also a strong environmental objective that is very much in the public eye.

It is therefore with these objectives of individual safety, environmental safety and support for new modes of travel in mind that regulations have a strong role to play in the context of urban mobility.

We recommend these other pages:

Book a test ride

Essayez un vélo Angell près de chez vous