Promoting Clean Technologies ^ Forging Cross-Industry Collaboration

Paris Bicycle Program Promotes Clean Commuting

In Environment, Sustainable on October 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Paris Bike Rental ProgramBy Halima Aquino, Bolton Hill Consulting, Ltd.

Terrific best practice- Just returned from Paris- there are rental bike kiosks throughout the city. You can use a credit card to rent a bike and return it at any kiosk in the city. 1st half hour is free to promote commuting. Some people ride half an hour to the next kiosk and return the 1st bike to get a second one…the French take great pride in circumventing the “system”. However, the program is actually working whether the commuter pays some money or none at all. A bike rider is taking up less space on the road, has no exhaust fumes, leaves more room for parking and reduces traffic congestion. Improved fitness is also a likely side goal for the bicyclist. See picture.  Paris also closes large streets to traffic on Sundays for bikes and roller blades. Personally- I love bike riding for short leisure trips as well as long-distance and competitive events such as triathlons. I recently started using the defined paths in Baltimore this past summer to see how well I could commute in traffic. The paths are getting better but the are uneven. Pot holes are a serious problem. So are angry and distracted motorists- but that’s a discussion for another time. I’d like to see this Parisian best practice implemented in U.S. cities.

(Originally posted on Marc Steiner’s Facebook page)

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