Showing posts with label velib. Show all posts
Showing posts with label velib. Show all posts

27 February 2014

Copenhagenize Reviews the Agenda for the Next Mayor of Paris

Paris Bike Culture - Cycling Sociably

The current mayor of Paris – Bertrand Delanoë – is a living liveable city legend. While at the reins of the city for two terms, he has transformed the French capital in so many positive ways.

You have to love a mayor quoted as saying, "The fact is that cars no longer have a place in the big cities of our time".

30 km/h zones, traffic calming and... the Vélib' bike sharing system are all part of his modern legacy.

The number of bicycle users in Paris has increased since the launch of Vélib'. Delanoë, however, is stepping down after the next election. Today we're going to have a critical look at what the frontrunner for the mayoral post in the city, Anne Hildago, is proposing if elected.

She is already in charge of urban planning since Delanoë was elected to his second term. She knows the ropes, so to speak.

In her agenda, Anne Hidalgo has proposed the following:
  • to extend the Vélib' network to the whole metropolitan area.
  • to reduce the car speed limit to 30 km/h, excepted on the main boulevard.
  • to double the number of bicycle users in 10 years.
  • to double the number of bike lanes by creating a north-south lane, a lane on the Champs Elysées, a lane to reach the woods (Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes) and the cities located around Paris, a lane the circumnavigates the city, a lane along the railways, and one along the river.
  • to set up more Vélib' stations and bike parking at museum, train stations and schools.
  • to set up more signs and wayfinding for bicycle users.
  • to redesign the main squares for pedestrians and bicycle users.
  • to launch an e-Vélib' (public electric bike).
All in all, her cycling agenda sticks to the further development of the existing bike share system and the creation of new bicycle infrastructure. Compared to other world cities, the bicycle debate is already way ahead of the curve in Paris.

We like what we read but for a city that has done so much in so little time, what about pushing it just that little bit farther? The world needs leadership. A lot of it sounds like Hildago is focusing on commuting and, perhaps, recreational cycling. What about developing a bicycle culture right there in the neighbourhoods, making space and facilities for cargo bikes, creating safe routes to school, developing bicycle streets as WELL as building bicycle superhighways? Go Paris! We want you to go one step further!

Actually, there are several important and interesting points in this agenda. We obviously approve the development of more bike infrastructure. More bike lanes, especially along the iconic Champs Elysées, can become an interesting and important symbol. (It sure beats THIS vision from the past on that street)

We wonder, however, what KIND of infrastructure will be built? Will they be wide and well separated from the cars? Or will the bicycle users be forced to keep on sharing the lane with the buses? It's interesting to create bike lanes which go through Paris but bicycle users are more interested in reaching the office, the bakery, the school safely every day safely than knowing that Paris can be crossed from East to West. To create the right conditions for cycling, users must know that they can bike everywhere in the city safely and quickly.

And what's all about an e-Vélib'? Do we really want more scooters in a densely-populated city? Cohabitation with regular bikes can be complicated? In the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland - from where we've seen data - accidents including e-bikes have increased. The Dutch authorities are creating a new fast cycle tracks just for e-bikes. Does Paris have enough space to create lanes for bikes AND e-bikes? We doubt it.
Robert Doisneau Traffic

Continuing to develop the bike share system to the whole metropolitan area is interesting. Regarding the size of the area, focusing on combining bike and train stations would seem, to us, to be a better idea.

We can conclude that if Paris really wants to move closer to the paradigm shift, this agenda is fine but it's also rather mild. Where is the creativity of Hildago and of Paris? Where is the world-class infrastructure the Parisians deserve in an increasingly livable city? Does Paris want to become a truly bicycle-friendly city?

Hildago's heart is in the right place, but she needs to take the bicycle more seriously as transport. It's already used by thousands of Parisian families and  employees. We think a more visionary policy is required.

Copenhagen Cycle Chic Goes To Paris

17 October 2011

Bicycle Infrastructure 'n Stuff in Paris & Bordeaux

Paris Cycle Track
In Paris recently, on my way to Bordeaux to take part in an expert panel who analysed Bordeaux's proposed bike plan, I hung out with my friend Rebecca. We took Velib bike share bicycles to Montparnasse train station so I could catch the TGV to Bordeaux. Here's a new cycle track behind Parc du Luxembourg. Nicely designed.
Rebecca in Paris_1
My suitcase didn't really fit in the Velib basket. But I brought a bungee cord, 'cause I knew that. I prefer the racks on Bicing in Barcelona. You can squeeze anything in there.

Paris Bus and Cycle Lane
When Velib started you could share the bus lanes in Paris. Great in that city because the buses stop so frequently. Then, I've heard, they disallowed cycling in the bus lanes. Now, on certain stretches, it's allowed again. Here, heading down towards Montparnasse. Nice and wide.

More infrastructure from Paris from other trips:
Paris Bike Culture - Cycling Sociably Paris Cycle Chic - Blue Boots Infrastructure Attentions Pietons Paris Infrastructure Dual Vélo Liberté - Parisian Bike Culture Paris Bike Lanes Paris Turning LaneInfrastructure Paris Bike Lane Vélo Hommes - Cycling Chaps in Paris Paris Traffic

Bordeaux Cycle Track
Bordeaux has 9% modal share for bicycles in the city centre. Here's a cycle track (one of those pesky bi-directional ones, but hey).

Bordeaux Bike Box
A bike box. Pulling the stop lines back for cars is an incredibly effective traffic calming measure at intersections for cyclists and pedestrians alike. We've been doing it in Copenhagen since 2008.

Bordeaux Bike Lane
Basic painted lane on a side street.

Bordeaux Bicycle Signage_2
Cool, elegant bike lane pictogram near the station.

Bordeaux Bicycle Signage
Bicycle signage.

Bordeaux Bicycle Signage_1
Nothing like a 20 km/h zone complete with contraflow for bicycles.

Bordeaux VCub Bike Share
Coolest graphic design I've ever seen on a bike share bike. It was a public competition to design the graphics and the logo.

Bordeaux Cycle Chic Hommes (13)
And it's a great success so far.

04 May 2011

Street Furniture

Harbour Days 005
Over the Easter weekend I visited my friends Søren and Trine on their converted ship on Copenhagen Harbour, right across from Nyhavn. Brilliant sunshine. There was an army of kids, tweenagers and teenagers along for the day, from 3 to 19 years. Running around the ship, playing hide and seek and playing out on the quay. Nice to see how the Bullitt was considered a fine place to sit and text on a mobile.
Paris Velib Alternative Usage
Reminded my of this shot I took in Paris of some friends hanging out on parked Velib bike share bikes.

If you travel with my friend Lars Gemzøe from Gehl Architects you'll find him taking photos of benches - or spaces that lack them - when he's not taking photos of everything else. So this post is dedicated to him. :-)
Spring Sunshine 04 Bridge
In other bench news, the City of Copenhagen widened the bike lanes on Nørrebrogade, probably the busiest bicycle street in the world - and in the process slapped up a couple of benches on Queen Louise's Bridge over The Lakes. For all the liveable cityness of the bridge and surrounding lakefront, the bridge has never invited any great number of people to gather in the sunshine.

Until now. Just a couple of benches have caused the sunny side of the bridge to become a people magnet. The benches get occupied first, of course, but the mere sight of people sitting on benches there cause others to sit down and lean up against the stone. So many of my friends have noticed this sudden and pleasing development.

It's brilliant what a couple of benches can do to change behaviour and create a new citizen space in a city.

15 October 2010

Bike Share Usage Comparisons

Melbourne Helmet Demonstration 25_1DC SmartbikesParis Bike Culture - Vive la Vélib'Vienna City Bike Couple 2Dublin Cycle Chic - DublinbikesBarcelona Bicing CardGirocleta Girona 02
Paul Martin in Brisbane sent me an online toy this morning and I've been playing around with it. It's a live map of bike share system use in a variety of cities.

I decided to compare the levels of bike share use in 12 cities. Nine of them in Europe, as well as Melbourne, Montreal and Washington, DC.

I checked the levels of usage at 08:00 AM in all the European cities (I'm including London and Dublin under that label). The morning rush hour is beginning, people are heading to work. I checked the current weather conditions, too. It's late-autumn in Europe and morning temperatures are getting chillier.

So, here we go. At 08:00 in the morning local time on a Friday:

PARIS - VÉLIB [8 AM / 10°C / cloudy]
753 bikes in use
4.3% in use / Normal
753 is highest so far today

MILAN - BIKEMI [8 AM / 8°C / shallow fog]
110 bikes in use
9% in use / High
1142 is highest so far today

LONDON - BORIS BIKES [8 AM / 10°C / light drizzle]
404 bikes in use
9% in use / High
404 is highest so far today

BARCELONA - BICING [8 AM - 12°C / party cloudy]
847 bikes in use
17% in use / Extremely high
882 is highest so far today

DUBLIN - DUBLIN BIKES [8 AM / 6°C / party cloudy]
76 bikes in use
20% in use / Extremely high
78 is highest so far today

BRUSSELS - VILLO [8 AM / 9°C / mostly cloudy]
106 bikes in use
6% in use / Fairly high
106 is highest so far today

VIENNA - CITYBIKES [8 AM / 8°C / cloudy]
54 bikes in use
7% in use / Fairly high
72 is highest so far today

SEVILLE - SEVICI [8 AM / 15°C / fine]
265 bikes in use
13% in use / Very high
265 is highest so far today

VALENCIA - VALENBISI [8 AM / 16°C / mostly cloudy]
101 bikes in use
10% in use / High
175 is highest so far today

That brings us to the cities outside of Europe. In Melbourne when it's 08:00 CET, the time is 17:00. Rush hour going home on a Friday. Prime time for bike share system use. The weather is, coincedentally, very similar to many European cities. Drizzle in London, light rain in Melbourne.

There are comparable levels of bicycle-friendly infrastructure and a general perception of 'crazy drivers' in Melbourne and a number of the cities on the list, which makes an even better comparison. So how is their bike share system doing? Remember, Melbourne is the only city on the list that has an all-ages, mandatory helmet law (and one of the very few places that actually enforce it.)

MELBOURNE - BIKESHARE [5 PM / 8°C / light rain]
3 bikes in use
0.7% in use / Very low
7 is highest so far today

There is still little improvement in usage in Melbourne, despite enormous media coverage.

I checked out Washington, DC and Montreal as well. Please note that the time in these two cities was 02:30. Middle of the night. Was anybody using their bike share bicycles?

WASHINGTON - DC BIKES [2:30 AM / 11°C / cloudy]
7 bikes in use
1.2% in use / Low
38 is highest so far today

MONTREAL - BIXI [2:30 AM / 10°C / light rain]
20 bikes in use
0.5% in use / Extremely low
243 is highest so far today

Well... um... in the middle of the night in Washington and Montreal there are more bike share bicycles in use than in Melbourne.

Last year, Copenhagenize selected The World's Worst Bike Share Programme - Wheels4Wellness. It still may be the dubious winner of the title, but goodness me... Melbourne just may be gaining.

Just before publishing this, I had a look at the current levels at time of writing.

Dublin: 09:00 AM - 42% bikes in use!
London: 09:00 AM - 17% bikes in use!
Paris: 10:00 AM - 7% bikes in use - up 2.7% since an hour ago.

Check out the website and see the current levels in all these cities and more.

16 October 2009

Borrowed Bikes Whilst Travelling

NYC Bullitt over Brooklyn
With all the travelling I've been doing lately comes the fact that I have borrowed a number of different bikes. I often consider taking my Mobiky folding bike with me, but since I invariably meet up with readers or like-minded people, there always seem to be bikes nearby.

On my recent visit to New York, Johnathan was amazingly kind enough to let me borrow his Bullitt TNT cargo bike from Larry vs Harry. Johnathan flew to Copenhagen earlier this year just to buy one and ship it home. He provided me with not only the bike but two locks, a pump, a map of the city and a tool kit. Totally brilliant.

He cycles in cycling shoes so the only hitch was that I had to adjust to pedalling on clipless pedals in my regular shoes, but that was no big deal. It was amazing how many conversations I struck up with people when I rode around on the bike. I'm on the Manhattan Bridge, stopped to take some photos, and a couple of workers on the railway shouted at me to come over. They wanted to know all about the bike.

I'm stopped at a red light on 3rd Ave later that day [SOMEBODY has to do it] and I happen to glance over at a middle-aged latina lady in an SUV. She is staring at me and the bike and, to my surprise, she gives me a nod as if to say 'respect'. Half of it was the red light stopping, half was the bike.

Thanks to Johnathan for the ride.
Mikael DC
In DC my friend Jeff from the League of American Bicyclists used his subscription for the city's bike share programme Smartbike DC to hook me up with one of the bicycles. It was a good bicycle to ride and it was in great condition. But that's probably because nobody else uses them in the city. I only saw one other person on one. There's only 120 bikes at six stations, so it's not exactly convenient at the moment. But more bikes and stations are on the way so here's hoping more people use them.
Paris Cool
In Paris I used a Vélib, or rather a half dozen different ones.

Nuff said.
La Rochelle: Yélo Chainless
In La Rochelle, the first city in the world to start a permanent bike share programme back in 1975, they are just now switching to a new bike share system. For more than 30 years they've had regular yellow bicycles available to the citizens and tourists. Now they have just launched the Yélo programme in the same vein as Vélib, Bicing and all the rest and with many stations around the city that look like this. The bikes are chainless, which may be interesting. Just not to me.

In Budapest, Kristof loaned me an upright bike that the German communications company T-Mobile had sponsored and painted in their corporate colour... which is why it's pink. I rode it in the critical mass and around the city. And on the velodrome, of course, on a demonstratively slow circuit in the spirit of the Slow Bicycle Movement.

Bullitt Tokyo Intersection Hollywood Ranch Market
In Japan I was on a bunch of bikes, including a Bullitt and a Velorbis Scrap Deluxe - both which made me feel incredibly at home since these are the bikes I ride here in Copenhagen.
Mikael, Brompton in Anjo
I also rode a Brompton on one of the days of the Danish Embassy's Cycling Tour of Japan. On my last day I rode around on a crappy orange bike the embassy had lying around. Which also made me feel at home.
Moscow Cycle Chic Party
In Moscow, it was mostly business but there were bikes to be borrowed and used. There was also time for fun. There always is.
Retro Me Eurofixie
In Amsterdam, Henry from WorkCycles loaned me a bike [thanks!] which I don't have any photos of and in at VeloCity in Brussels [the two photos above]there were loads of bikes to play around with.

10 May 2009

Enjoy Your Invisible Shit-ass Bikes

I was put onto this brilliant urban sticker campaign by a reader in Ireland. It's a couple of months old now, but brilliant none the less. JC Decaux won the contract for providing Dublin with Vélib' style city bikes, in return for fancy advertising panels around the city.

As I understand it, the lucrative advertising panels went up pretty quick but the bikes were no where to be seen. So a series of stickers started appearing around the city. I'm guessing they weren't put up by JC Decaux - that's how clever I am. Nor were they sponsored by the City of Dublin, who nevertheless got their logo on the top right.

The text above reads "JC Decaux - Give us planning permission or the kittens die."

JC Decaux - We own your fucking town.

JC Decaux - We stole your fucking bikes.

This is now the property of JC Decaux.

JC Decaux - Enjoy your invisible shit-ass bikes.

I picked up these photos in an Irish forum about the issue right here.

If any of our readers can fill us in on the subject and any developments (or lack thereof), add a comment.