I crossed Paris again yesterday from Gobelins to my place, via Austerlitz, Bastille and the Canal Saint Martin. I was really able to appreciate how Paris has developed so many completely separate bike lanes because about the only two places where I was actually in traffic were crossing the Seine and circumnavigating Place de la Bastille.
When going around the Bastille circle, K, do you command a lane or keep far right? Brave either way. Do you ride through Marais back streets from Place de la B?
I'd like to have the nerve to ride Boris Bikes in London. Maybe I'll approach PatrickL about bike paths. I think he lives east now. Is there a place to ride along the Thames, but not in traffic, as you can along Lake Michigan in Chicago or through a dodgy stretch of North St. Louis along the Mississippi?
At place de la Bastille, I stay to the right until I have to cut over to get to Boulevard Richard Lenoir, but it isn't as bad as it could be, because most of the cars are continuing around to Boulevard Beaumarchais and just try to avoid people not going in that direction. Since all of the other traffic is coming from the right, they know they have to yield.
Thank you for that Lola. Today, our city councilwoman is slotted to show up at an informal gathering, and, because she is up for re-election in February, (clearly this is a re-election campaign strategy on her part), one of the things I want to discuss with her is more aggressive approach to cycling in the city). Your post was/is most helpful. Thank you.
On the weather report tonight, they mentioned bicycle use in France as proof that we have had an extremely mild winter. Since just about every city in France now has a bike sharing programme, they pointed out that bike use was up between 20 and 30% in just about every city in France last month, compared to last February.
I was super impressed with the bike share program in Miami Beach, "Deco Bike" on this last visit. I saw an increase in the number of stations since my last visit 2 years ago, and, saw them in use all over the place. I had use of my friends bike so I didn't have occasion to use one.
It makes good sense for several reasons. The area of South Beach is very limited with regard to automobile use, parking etc. and I cannot remember ever having to resort to driving a car save for trips out of town or to the airport. My friend either walks or rides her bike to most places as do her friends. I wish that was the case here in NOLA. Way too many people drive to places nearby that are easily navigable by foot or a bike. Their transit system is also top notch and efficient, further reducing the need for an auto.
The bike sharing programmes are making enormous inroads just about everywhere, but it really does take some time for people to dare to use them.
The biggest problem in Paris is still the fact that even though it is so incredibly cheap -- Jeez, it is only 29€ a year for people like me and just 19€ a year for young people or people qualifying for social benefits -- there is still a lot of theft and vandalism. The city is still working on new methods to prevent people from ripping the bikes loose, but they haven't decided if they are effective yet.
Nevertheless, it remains the most successful system in the world with more than 20,000 bikes and almost 1500 stations in Paris and the suburbs, so I'm sure that everything will work out sooner or later.
I just listened to a segment on cycling in Amsterdam on NPR this a.m. It was very interesting. Helmets not required except for children up to the age of 7. Lots of bike thievery. The majority of cyclists have 2 bicycles, an everyday "knock around" bike and a fancy weekend bike.
Here is a very pleasant short video about people cycling, walking ... and boating in Utrecht. There are some cars and trucks, but cyclists, pedestrians and people on canal boats take centre stage. It seems far calmer than Amsterdam, and very pleasant somehow, though the weather looks quite chilly:
My friend and his young son had a very close brush with death or at the very least, major injury yesterday. While riding in the designated bike lane on a busy avenue they came upon a TV news crew blocking the lane. My friend called out to them to please move and was told to "go around, our cameras are rolling". "Going around" would have meant going into moving traffic. My friend stopped and proceeded to read these people the riot act about the tremendous hazard they were creating. I hope the cameras were rolling to capture that!!
Good for him for protesting, but we have so many delivery trucks and other such vehicles often blocking the lanes that everybody is used to it -- but also the cars, which know to expect bikes to have to come and mingle with them briefly. But with a child, that makes it much more dangerous.
The photo is in front of the Copenhagen train station.
Yes, I knew it wasn't Amsterdam, though similar brickwork, and obviously a city of size. Amsterdam Centraal is in a revival style of the traditional vertical "canal houses". It's the same there.
I have just enough ice on the roads so as not to be able to cycle. It slows me down so much. I feel as if I've aged by about 40 years when I can't cycle - I move like someone far younger on a bicycle (and can also walk beautifully) but winter means a return of the arthritic stiffness I'd utterly forgotten, and painful walking.
Friends have gone to a (cheap) resort in Cuba for a week, with grown children and wee grandchildren. I'm feeding their cats every day, which forces me to walk, a good thing. The live in a duplex (oldies down, youngies up) a bit more than a km from my flat, and it is an interesting walk, passing through Jean-Talon market and interesting "ethnic" shops, and my route is always longer than the shortest possible.
Still, I hope we get a bit more of a thaw to rid the roads of that thin coat of ice. I ache to ride my bicycle - and not to ache. In Copenhagen, they clear the cycle lanes.
(way back in 2011) We aren't technically in the city, but the residents of my valley outside Missoula, Montana, are in the process of getting a 3.3 mile long paved bike-pedestrian trail. (There aren't even sidewalks now, so it's really needed, for safety and health reasons, and as a non-motorized commuter route.)
We have a Facebook page - Grant Creek Trail Project, and from there you can link to the City of Missoula website, which has maps of the trail route, among other things. Engineering this summer and construction next summer on the first 2 miles of trail (which serves about 3/4 of the homes in the valley). The next stretch will not be able to be finished until 2016, because of the expense.
Well it's taken quite a lot longer than expected, but the trail is being "completed" as we speak, the first two miles of it anyway. The portion outside of the city limits will take a bit longer, as there are different funding mechanisms. The volunteer nonprofit we created to raise money for the 10%"match" to receive federal funding has raised over $180,000 from private individuals, which is saying a lot as there are fewer than 700 homes in the valley.
Go to the Facebook page to see photos: Grant Creek Trail Project.
That's great news Kimby. I am not on Facebook so, can't see the pics but trust your info that it is a welcome addition.
I am super impressed with the number of people who are in town for The N.O Jazz and Heritage Festival who are cycling as an alternative to motorized travel. On Friday I rode out on my bike to the Festival and was astounded by how many others were doing the same.
Yes, another 1.3 miles outside city limits to connect with Snowbowl Road, which leads to a ski area with lift-served summer mountain biking. Also a ways above Snowbol Road is Ravine Trail which connects to recreation trails in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area.
The funding is coming more slowly for this stretch, as our trail is in competition with other trails elsewhere in the county, trails that serve a larger population base, too.
The bike path up on the levee that I traveled on religiously almost everyday for many years, most especially in 2011-2014 and was interrupted by the Army Corps of Engineers "project", has now finally re-opened to allow at least 10 miles of where I so fondly cycled. I will be up and about early a.m. again to re-establish my former pleasure regimen.
In the meantime, I have my old 1969 ( "the summer of love"!!) Raleigh 3 speed being refurbished for local errands etc. These young bikesmiths who are doing the work on "her" love it because the craftsmanship on these old English bikes is something they rarely see. Raleigh having gone to Taiwanese manufacturing in the 1970's thereabouts. All I need are some decent saddlebags or not too heavy rear baskets.
The Grant Creek Trail, the first two miles of which were opened this summer, is about to be pushed another mile closer to my house.
The County has received three bids for this next stretch, and at least one of them came in under budget. If the particulars check out, this means work can begin this fall, and if the weather gods smile on us, it could even be paved before winter! Yee ha!
The section that opened in June is getting extensive use by all kinds of users: bikes, trikes, recumbent cycles, joggers, skateboarders, inline skaters, walkers, baby-buggies, dog walkers, after-dnner strollers....
Having a trail is turning an auto-centric rural housing area into a "neighborhood", and I smile every time I drive by and see people using the trail.
It was great to see more and more people cycling to Carnival parades this weekend AND one of the local newspapers issued cycling as the most efficient and fun way to get around the city on Mardi Gras with helpful suggestions for the neophytes. We have been doing it for umpteen years now. I am pleased that folks finally caught on to the notion. There is also the added option of securing one's bike somewhere safe should one not be able to ride home safely because they have over imbibed etc.and utilize public transit etc.
Bikes work well for getting to big events that cause traffic jams and unavailability of parking for vehicles. We used to ride our bikes to the 4th of July fireworks show when we lived in Santa Barbara, CA.