17 January 2011

Old School Parisian Bicycle Culture

Uploaded by motomecano. - Watch more comedy videos and sitcoms.
Cool footage. Can some of our Francophone friends give us some context?
Thanks to our amies francaise for the help translating in the comments. Here's the basic context...

It appears that this is an April Fool's clip from 1967. But what is amazing is that this is quite the visionary clip. It's what we're all talking about these days.

Here are our friends and their translation/context:

Louis: The video is talking about a measure to create a bike-only district that the city of Paris was looking at to relieve congestion due to the increasing number of cars. The journalist is asking people whether or not they are in favor of this idea. The majority said yes!

Examinedspoke: 1) The reporter says, essentially, that Parisian traffic is bad, and that the city has made many efforts at improving it, including putting parking underground and expanding roadway space by making sidewalks smaller. City authorities now wanted to study whether banning auto traffic altogether would work.

2) The reporter decided to interview a number of people on the street for their opinions. These opinions cover the gamut: some people thought it was great, while others thought it was not smart. One guy said it's a step backwards by fifty years: "The bicycle is over! It's over!"

Tamagosen: Like examindspoke said, the man-on-the-street opinion varied. That setting-back-the-clock-50-years guy of course thought the whole thing was silly, but the other opinions were;
"It's very practical for women to use to do their short errands or go to the hairdresser"
"I've always biked and these days people just don't want to make the effort"
"It's just more pleasurable"
"Great idea, less cars means everyone can go faster"
"I don't really care but bikes AND miniskirts seem like an interesting combination" (followed by the woman who said, "Not a problem; I wear a short skirt!")
"Great way to get exercise"

Klaus: It was 1967 and they alread knew car supremacy was a failure. The Danes and Dutch did something about it, we joked around and kept applying the same failed policies. it's a joke, but a sad one.

Philippe: Yes, an april fool's joke. What's awesome is that every single line of the tongue in cheek 1967 dialogue could have been used, very seriously in 2011. That, and the folding bike with the ape hanger bar.