Paris Embraces Plan to Become City of Bikes

The Velo’v public bicycle system in Lyon, France. By the end of 2007 the city of Paris will have 1,450 bike stations offering 20,000 bicycles.

The Washington Post reports:

On July 15, the day after Bastille Day, Parisians will wake up to discover thousands of low-cost rental bikes at hundreds of high-tech
bicycle stations scattered throughout the city, an ambitious program to cut traffic, reduce pollution, improve parking and enhance the city’s image as a greener, quieter, more relaxed place.

The program was meant "not just to modify the equilibrium between the
modes of transportation and reduce air pollution, but also to modify
the image of the city and to have a city where humans occupy a larger

The Socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, has the
same aim, said his aide, Jean-Luc Dumesnil: "We think it could change
Paris’s image — make it quieter, less polluted, with a nicer
atmosphere, a better way of life."

there is a practical side, too, Dumesnil said. A recent study analyzed
different trips in the city "with a car, bike, taxi and walking, and
the bikes were always the fastest.

faster than the bus or metro, it’s good exercise, and it’s almost
free," said Vianney Paquet, 19, who is studying law in Lyon. Paquet
said that he uses the rental bikes four or five times a day and pays 10
euros (about $13) a year, half for an annual membership fee and half
for rental credit that he never actually spends because his rides
typically last just a few minutes.

Photo: Chris73, Wikipedia.

  • Michael Zonta

    Ca sonne gran. Alors j’ai besoin de trouver un apartment.


  • Santhosh Min

    Too good to be implemented in India. people need to be radically civilized to use cycles and leave it in the stands. Here it will decorate the homes.

  • A great initiative by our Mayor!!!
    Bound to be abused by some but I’m certain they have thought of that!
    Given the condition of the traffic in Paris these days it is better to offer the public the choice than to enforce a congestion tax

  • .. call me an idealist, but I do love this idea.. it would be far better if the bikes were free to use and they were never stolen or thrown into the River Seine .. but then I am an idealist.


How to Plan Good Cities for Bicycling

Editor’s note: This is the final installment in our series this week featuring Danish architect and livable streets luminary Jan Gehl. The pieces are excerpts are from his book, “Cities for People,” published by Island Press. Donate to Streetsblog and Streetfilms and you’ll qualify to win a copy of the book, courtesy of Island Press. […]

Another Look at the WSJ Article on European Cycling

This weekend’s full-page Wall Street Journal article on the measures that European cities are taking to make themselves more bike-friendly makes for an interesting comparison to what I’m seeing in my own neighborhood. While Brooklyn’s Ninth Street Block Association "expresses concern" (i.e. yells and screams) that new bike lanes will increase traffic congestion, European cities, […]

2008: Year of the Bicycle?

Ahead of this week’s National Bike Summit in Washington, DC, syndicated columnist Neal Peirce wonders if 2008 will be "bicycling’s best year since the start of the auto age." He writes about developments promoting the bicycle as a legitimate form of transportation around the world, many of which have been featured right here on Streetsblog: […]

Happy Birthday, Vélib

Here’s another transportation policy success story from France. The Vélib bike-sharing system celebrates its one-year anniversary today. In April, Streetfilms’ Elizabeth Press was in Paris to learn more about it. Here is her video and report: On July 15, 2007 Paris debuted the world’s largest self-service "bicycle transit system" called Vélib outdoing previously designed bike […]

A Rising Bicycle Tide in Mexico City

Back in April, Marcelo Ebrad, the mayor of Mexico City, announced he wanted those who worked in his administration to ride bicycles to work one day a month (at right, Ebrard, center, kicks off the program). Many were shocked at the idea, or simply laughed it off. But this excellent article in the San Diego […]

A French Revolution: This One On Two Wheels, No Guillotine

On Sunday in Paris, more than 10,000 bicycles became available at 750 self-service docking stations. The bike program, called Vélib (for "vélo," bicycle, and "liberté," freedom) is supposed to double in size by the end of the year. Pierre Aidenbaum, mayor of Paris’s trendy third district, said "For a long time cars were associated with […]