Sunday, October 21, 2007

Paris Velib bike rental program takes off. Chicago next?

Notable is this: " installed around the city by J. C. Decaux, an outdoor
advertising company". Chicago is awash in bus shelters controlled by
Decaux. Mayor Daley is impressed with the program and has indicated interest
in exploring it here. Would this take newspaper writers attention off the
gigantic tax increases being proposed in Chicago and Cook County currently?
The desire to have front page stories on something else other than these
huge tax increases might be one of the main reasons this program gets off
the ground in Chicago.

Also notable is this view by the skeptics: "I asked an American friend
living in Paris about the bareheaded cyclists. "Just wait," he said, "until
the first reports of accidents come out. In the fall when it's cold and
slippery and business traffic really picks up, it's going to be a disaster.
It will be the Waterloo of the VĂ©libs." "

Yes, winter will be a good testing ground for this social experiment. I
wouldn't phrase it in terms of helmet use, but rather bike use. Will the
bikes get heavy use in the Parisian winter?

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