yeah it usually works okay despite the problems... with people walking on the cycling lanes, my reaction depends a bit. if it is tourists i might ring my bell or say something - if it is in the area where i live it is usually teenage boys or young men, and there it's no use anyway, they know exactly that it is a cycling lane but don't care...
the parking cars are usually people who "just want to quickly" do something or other, but it is annoying...
must admit it is other cyclists who are most annoying lately though - since the weather is good you have loads of people who never ride bikes other than in summer, and thus go slow and slalom (or write text messages while cycling).
but despite all this i definitely recommend cycling in berlin. it's the best way to get around, see a lot of the city, and it is in general pretty safe...
ah, cycled with my little brother today. with him, i go on the pedestrian lane, unless there is a cycling lane that is well separated from the street. but he is a true menace on his bike, if i tell him to look where he is going, he does so for about half a minute, else he just assumes people will jump out of his way. and sometimes he suddenly swerves without warning because he sees a puddle and wants to ride through it. i almost collided with him today. but he also fell when he took a corner too fast. was crying - but five minutes later he was going as crazy as before... oh well... good thing teaching him to cycle well is not my responsibility, hehe...
I thought that the Miami rental rates were a bit expensive too Kerouac. I think the best deal is for residents who live there,they have a much cheaper monthly membership rate. I suppose, the 'powers that be' ,decided that most of the tourists visiting South Beach were "well heeled",and therefore,could afford these exorbitant rates.
Our new bike lanes here in NOLA have become park and idle lanes for UPS,FedEx and the like, delivery trucks. No one polices the bike lanes. This is after all New Orleans. What a joke. It's even more dangerous riding a bike here in these lanes than it was before the bike lanes were put in.
A short video from a guy in New York who was given a ticket for not riding in a bike lane. I would have though you don't have to, but the ticket was still issued. He then made a clip of the obstructions found in the bike lanes -
I enjoyed that Mark! It got me wondering why nobody rides a bike in my city even though it is as flat as a pancake...... Oh, I remember why - it would be stolen in minutes even if you chained it to a police car.
When we rented bicycles in Asia, we were amazed at how the apparently unorganized swarms of people on bikes seemed to move mostly without conflict or collision, while we had several near-collisions in our first 10 minutes of riding.
We quickly figured out that you don't look at the other rider trying to figure out which way he will go, you look directly where YOU intend to go. That way everyone can instantly see your plans and revise theirs accordingly.
This technique is also helpful when walking on crowded sidewalks or in busy airport terminals.
Bad news for the municipal bike schemes: Aix-en-Provence threw in the towel in May, and the final stations are being dismantled this month.
There were a number of reasons for the failure: the city had to contribute too much money because it was unable to give the operator JC Décaux enough advertising space, it wasn't possible to put bike stations in the historic center, and outside of the historic center, the city is pretty hilly and unsuited for the heavy bikes used in such system.
Aix says it will spend the money saved on creating new bike lanes.
shame. though new bike lanes are good. and i must admit, people on rental bikes usually annoy me. you can tell from how they cycle that they aren't used to it...
got shouted at my an old guy yesterday for wanting to overtake him just when he wanted to turn - okay, i tried to overtake him on the wrong side, as he was already almost in the middle of the road, so on the right side would've meant endangering myself, and there was loads of space between him and the parked cars on the side of the road - and he didn't think of showing in any way he wants to turn. i always put out my arm on the side i want to turn to. i think he even threatened to hit me, but not sure as i was cycling on and also shouting back at him a bit.
Any dismantling of a cycle-share system is a shame, as such schemes contribute greatly to increasing cycling's modal share in overall displacements. I do like the idea of what they call "boxes" (in English cycling terminology, a box is what is called a sas in French - a marked advance spot for cyclists ahead of cars at intersections, but I think they mean secure parking).
Indeed very hilly cities would probably need a lighter model with more speeds (7 rather than 3 - this can also be enclosed in a hub to reduce maintenance) but still an urban cycling upright model.
rikita, newbies and people who haven't cycled in 40 years annoy me too, but if we want to increase the modal share - the only sure means of ensuring cyclist safety - we do have to put up with some inexperienced or rusty cyclists. However, classes for new and out-of-practice cyclists would be a very good idea. We have some (but not enough) here in Montréal.
well that's only part of it though... a lot of the ones on rental bikes are on holiday - and they don't always realize that not everyone is - so it is not so much about needing a class, though in some cases i would think they do...
though the more practiced cyclists can be just as annoying. around here, keeping traffic rules is apparently only for stupid people like me (well okay sometimes i break them too - but very rarely, while some people seem to only want to cross the street when the traffic light is red)... well i think one thing is, that the cycling lanes are too small, if they are there at all, so there is no chance to overtake, and there are a lot of cyclists here as soon as the weather is good. i suppose we need more space for cyclists...
what exactly does modal share mean though, and how does it increase safety?
I admit as well that the "professional" cyclists who have decided that the rules of the road do not apply to them are more annoying to me than the amateurs. I will happily run a red light on totally empty streets on a Sunday morning (or similar circumstances), but I always stop in normal daytime traffic, whether or not I think I could "get away with it."
I was an amateur on the municipal bikes three years ago, but now I think I am pretty good on them, as are many of the Paris residential subscribers.
While it would seem that in an ideal world, we would all own our own bikes perfectly adapted to our own needs, the fantastic innovation of the municipal bike is one way rental, where you don't have to worry about getting the bike back to where it came from. It might feel like "cheating" to some people, but I absolutely adore the fact that if it starts raining when I am ready to return home, I can abandon the idea and take the metro instead.
Rikita, "Modal share" is also known as "Modal split", and I see that many German texts use that term from the English, often written as in German as one, capitalized word, "Modalsplit"
Modal Split in de.wikipedia:
quote: "Modal Split wird in der Verkehrsstatistik die Verteilung des Transportaufkommens auf verschiedene Verkehrsmittel (Modi) genannt. Eine andere gebräuchliche Bezeichnung im Personenverkehr ist Verkehrsmittelwahl. Der Modal Split ist Folge des Mobilitätsverhaltens der Menschen und der wirtschaftlichen Entscheidungen von Unternehmen einerseits und des Verkehrsangebots andererseits".
kerouac, good quality, solid but light folding bicycles could also be taken on public transport, and be a good choice for people who have to carry their bicycles up flights of stairs or who live in very small flats.
though personally, i prefer my own bike - i used very old bikes for a long time and now that i bought a good one a couple of years ago, i really see the difference of how it is to have a good bike exactly the right size for me... but yeah, i see the advantages of those rental bikes, though i have the impression the ones here in berlin really mainly get used by tourists. well they aren't very comfortable looking, and i suppose, around here people tend to prefer taking their own bike...
hm, i think the number of cyclists has grown here in the last years, but so far i don't have the impression it is helping much in making it safer for them. and well, those that constantly break the traffic rules i think make it unsafer in a way, because they help breed a certain aggression against cyclists...
When I went to Berlin, I had the impression that it was an extremely good city for cycling -- except perhaps for the huge distances. The wide sidewalks, part of which are bike lanes that people respect (well, once stupid French tourists realize they are on a bike lane after being yelled at by an irate Berliner on his bike!), and that there is just not that much traffic. Compared to cycling in Toulouse (traffic, narrow streets, practically no bike lanes) or Paris (lots of traffic) it looked good. I even thought that if I lived in Berlin, I would certainly cycle.
oh, the distances are okay... most people kind of have the things they need to go to not too far from each other, though sometimes it's further (like one of my students lives 15 km from me, and the place i go climbing when i have time, is also about that much from my home).
hm, maybe they respect the bike lanes even less elswhere? i always thought they don't here, because i meet people walking on them almost daily...
but yeah, generally it is a good place to cycle... i suppose when you live somewhere you just sometimes get more critical...
One of my biggest complaints about the municipal bikes in Paris is that so often the bells don't work. How hard is it to keep the bells in working order? Or maybe it is because they get used too much because of the stoopid pedestrians.
Another problem with municipal bikes is that they all flow downhill and/or to the center. If you arrive at the wrong time at a full station, you have to wait around for people to remove bikes, or else go to another station. Yesterday, the station to the left of the Pompidou Center was overflowing, and at least 8 people were waiting with bikes to turn in.
I see that the weather is warm! It is a beautiful picture though. Skewed a bit young - fewer middle-aged or older people than there would be in a similar Dutch utilitarian cycling crowd, though one must start somewhere.
Today I saw two Chassidic men taking bicycles out of a docking station of our Bixi (Montréal Municipal Bicycle Share) system...
Forgot to say that like rikita, I also prefer my own bicycle. She was recently verified and tuned up by a volunteer squad at a district "éco-fête" and seems to be in fine shape, though she is an old six-speed Raleigh Sprite. She keeps up with most everything on bicycle lanes...
I tried to buy a restored second-hand bicycle from the outfit next to the Institute where I work and stay when in Amsterdam, for myself and other colleagues, but alas every single one was too big for me! Very high average height in the Netherlands. Pity, as they had bicycles for 100€ or so, fully retuned.
I've just come back to this thread as part of my research for next year. I flipped through my Le Petit Parisien Arrondisement Plan booklet just to check if they have a page denoting VELIB stations but of course it's a private enterprise so .....that won't happen. How do I find a printable Velib Map?
As you can see, many of the stations are only about 200 meters apart. It is only when you are looking for a station to return a bike that all of the stations suddenly disappear (if you are a beginner -- I pretty much know all of the stations where I am going these days).
Thats exactly what I need to look at in detail before setting off. I have already spotted a Velib station very close to a safe rideable piece of land to practice on. The path in Blvd. Batignolles looks very good and I spotted a Velib station at each end which would be handy. The drawback is I know Paris but I don't KNOW Paris! Meaning a could saunter along looking at a map every now and then but going at 10 times the speed would have me pulling over to check my bearings ;D Bit of a bugger!
Post by patricklondon on Sept 23, 2011 19:39:47 GMT
tod, I have a pocket-size printed booklet, by the Paris Par Arrondissement people, which shows the Vélib stations. You should be able to pick up something of the sort at almost any newsagent's shop or neighbourhood bookshop, maybe even a newspaper kiosk, for about €5. Also, if you arrive at a station and it's full, you can use the control post information display to find out where there are vacant slots at nearby stations, and get an extra 15 free minutes to get there.
One thing I didn't anticipate but soon began to irritate me is that so many streets in Paris are one-way only. That can take you all round the houses , and often some way away from a target station. It helps to have a map that also shows the one-way streets: and yes, you will need to get used to pulling over to re-check the map, quite a lot!