Whether we say “the” bike or “the” bicycle, the genre of cycle paths had never been debated… until today.

On June 4, Fabien Bagnon, vice-president of the metropolis of Lyon in charge of roads and mobility, published on Twitter a photo of the first section of the Voies lyonnaises, the major cycling project in the metropolis.

To an Internet user who reminded him that a cycling city should take into account the parity of its users, Fabien Bagnon agreed.

Adding: “It is also the Beyondmybike community of women on bikes that participates in technical meetings with the Voies Lyonnaises teams to design gender-neutral and therefore inclusive trails.

»

It is also the community of women on bikes @beyondmybike that participates in technical meetings with the #VoiesLyonnaises teams to design gender-neutral and therefore inclusive tracks.

- Fabien Bagnon 🌿🚨 (@Fabien_Bagnon) June 5, 2022


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The opposition denounces "a freewheeling ideology"

It was enough to trigger a salvo of new comments, sometimes mocking, sometimes aggressive, on these tracks… of a new kind.

“We want gender-neutral, inclusive, popular, participatory, civic and supportive, organic, local, peaceful and festive, benevolent and resilient cycle paths, perhaps even zero waste”, quips a surfer.

“When will we finally have woke cycle paths… With one path for the poor, one for the racialized.

And for the transgender also it will be necessary a track, ”adds another.

Can you confirm that a non-gendered cycle path is indeed a path devoid of these famous bites?

pic.twitter.com/n0hq13q6de

— JAY (@jacme31) June 7, 2022


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The opposition did not fail to react in turn.

The Rally of the Right, Center and Civil Society of Lyon published a press release on Wednesday to castigate the "freewheeling ideology" of the EELV executive.

“We are always amazed by this limitless creative capacity of the local Nupes to invent concepts which, in the end, push open doors more than anything else.

(…) What will be next?

A distinction by age?

By calf size?

By the color of the bike?

» quips the group.

Fabien Bagnon, asked to define a “gender track”, ended up responding with a thread, calling on the contribution of “social sciences”.

“Our environment can favor/disfavor its appropriation by a genre”, he writes.

“This is the case, for example, with sports facilities.

If we want real equality for all, we must seek to ensure that everyone can benefit from public facilities.

»

The inclusiveness mentioned, “is the possibility of having cycle paths wide enough and safe enough to allow people in wheelchairs to move around with their adapted bicycles.

Or families to feel free to move around with their children,” according to his tweets.

Finally, when the elected official speaks of “gender-neutral development”, it is because we “seek to identify what can hinder its use by a gender”.

“Is it a problem with night lighting?

Is the track monopolized for mainly male sports uses?

he asks himself.

A reflection that also includes “self-service bicycles, so that they are as suitable and egalitarian as possible”, he explains.

When we talk about non-gendered development, we seek to identify what can hinder its use by a gender.



Is it a night light issue?

Is the track monopolized for mainly male sports uses?

4/5

- Fabien Bagnon 🌿🚨 (@Fabien_Bagnon) June 7, 2022


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Yet it was simple.

But this unfortunate semantic choice will have had the opposite effect of Fabien Bagnon's intentions.

As summed up by a user on Twitter, who nevertheless finds this work of the Voies lyonnaises “tremendous”: “Think of the citizens and the uninitiated, let’s use simpler and less encompassing terms.

If we need 5 tweets to explain how a bike path is "genderless", it's because the term is inappropriate in my opinion.

“Simplicity: nothing more inclusive, finally.

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  • Company

  • Bike

  • Inclusion

  • Gender

  • Gender theory

  • Town planning

  • Lyons

  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

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