| Cycling |

Bike Blog: We’ll Never Have Paris (Will we?)

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

This week’s Pic of the Week (courtesy of AFP photo) is Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley riding a bicycle in Paris. During a visit to the City of Lights, he proclaimed yesterday that he wants a bicycle rental system similar to the Velib, a Paris’ new and truly revolutionary plan to increase biking and decrease car traffic in their capital.

Paris’ new and truly revolutionary plan to increase biking and descrease car traffic in their capital began in mid-July, when Paris put some 10,000 bicycles – called ‘Velibs’ --on the streets (more are coming) at seven hundred and fifty different locations, for residents to pick up whenever they want to, ride to another location, and drop off.

It’s been tried before: in my collegiate years in Madison, Wisconsin there was a similar yellow bike’ program that utilized hideously painted yellow bikes (too ugly to be worth stealing, was the idea) that would be free for the masses. But they all got stolen.

But the Paris program is far more ambitious, far better organized, and – so far, at least – far more successful. To get the bike, you put down a deposit of one hundred and fifty euros, and then use a metro card -- the same one you would use to take a bus or train. If you don’t return the bike (on time, too), you get fined from the deposit.] about it. So far, Velibs have inspired a kind of wonderful bike frenzy – within just 18 days of the start of the program, over a million people had used the bicycles. The current total is around three and a half million riders.

Mayor Daley, who (whatever else you want to say about him) has championed biking in Chicago for years, likes the idea and says he’s considering bringing the whole shebang to Chicago. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of that plan.

The Bike Blog would be thrilled to hear similar pronouncements from Mayors Diaz or Alvarez . . . but we won’t hold our breath. I mean, we’ll always have Paris, right? -- Isaiah Thompson

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.