Saturday, November 10, 2007

More Velib pics...

Thanks to my Flickr contact austinevan for a few more pictures which explain how the VELIB system of bike hire in Paris works (see earlier posts...)
I recommend that you take a look at these pics at home (FLICKR is one of those 'evil' sites which has to be blocked at school of course...)Evan has what he calls a VELIB OBSESSION (and even has a blog with that name - check it out)

Another city where cycling is very popular is Amsterdam.
In the city centre, the cars have to give more priority to other vehicles. Of course that does mean that pedestrians have to be very careful. I had a few near misses when I went there.

How about bicycle taxis as one way of reducing traffic ?

Some useful information by Dara Colwell from SUITE 101

In Holland, cycling is one of the most popular forms of transportation. Nowhere is this more apparent than Amsterdam, where bikes get the green light.

In Holland, bikes are like bread and butter. Practical, efficient, economic (especially when it comes to parking) and often the quickest option getting from A to B, Dutch bikes are valued for function over form—which explains why the average Dutch bike is a battered, rust-laden creature. Cycling is by far the country’s most popular form of transportation. Its16.4 million inhabitants own 17 million bikes (in Amsterdam, that’s 800,000 bikes for 750,000 people) and an estimated 3.4 million people hop on daily for the commute.

Learn to bike like a resident

For bike aficionados or those who’ve always wanted to give urban cycling a spin, Amsterdam, a.k.a. bike capital of the world, is the place to do it. It’s fun, a great way to get around and definitively Dutch. Luckily, in Holland bikes are legally entitled to the right of way—in other words, bikes go first—so all forms of traffic are extra vigilant. But also, a disclaimer: the Dutch ride aggressively and will clank their bells while trying to avoid trams, cars, fellow cyclists, buses, roller-bladers, and probably the most dangerous thing on the road: oblivious, map-reading tourists. The best way to stay upright is to use the designated cycle lanes, observe traffic signals and take it slow. Of course banging your bell loudly, warning others of your imminent approach, doesn’t hurt either. But master the basics, and the city is easy to explore.

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