Paris Unveils Four-Year Cycling Plan With Aim to Reinforce Velib' Bike Share

Paris Bike Plan

» Two major axes will service 65 “biking neighborhoods” throughout the city. Dedicated bike lanes will increase from 273 miles today to 435 miles by 2014.

If Velib’ has changed the face of Paris by providing it the largest bike sharing system in the world with 1,800 stations and more than 20,000 bikes, there’s still plenty of work to be done in the French capital. After nine years of slow but steady improvements originating from an environmentally minded city hall, Paris is about to hit the accelerator pedal.

The new plan, to be presented in early June to the city council, where it is virtually guaranteed passage, will increase the number of bike lanes within this 40.7 square mile city from 273 miles today (most built since 2001) to 435 miles in 2014. Two major axes — one running east-west from the Bois de Vincennes to the

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Integrating the Transportation Network Through Energy Credits

» Commuters on bikes could aid in filling up the electricity grid, and get free transport tickets in exchange.

As bike sharing becomes more and more popular in cities around the world, innovations in technology may make the systems a vital element of the urban landscape. Indeed, rather than simply a mobility tool, biking could become a power source — at least according to industrial designer Chi-Yu Chen, working at the Royal College of Art.

Mr. Chen’s bike design is innovative even as it uses standard technologies. By adding batteries to bikes and incorporating a dynamo in the wheel, the vehicles become mobile power stations, with electricity being created as commuters turn the wheels and apply power to the brakes. When cyclists return bikes to a station as part of a public rental scheme, the batteries would empty out their charge, moving the power into the general

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Bixi Close to Launching First Ambitious North American Bike-Share in Montréal

3,000 bikes, 300 stations will grace the streets of Canada’s second biggest city

Montréal, eager to promote itself as one of the continent’s most important cities, looked to Paris rather than modesty when developing its Bixi bike-sharing plan, which it will launch early in May. The service, which will begin with stations in the core of the city and close during winter months, will offer 3,000 bikes and 300 stations, putting it at a similar scale as Barcelona’s Bicing program, though still far smaller than Paris’ enormous 20,000-bike Vélib’. Like the latter project, though, Montréal has plans to expand into the neighboring areas, eventually much of the city. Check out the service’s stations page to note the number and density of stations in the system’s core area.

No U.S. city has yet to make such an ambitious commitment to bike sharing, a concept that has proven quite successful

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Serving the Bike/Transit Commuter

How can we best facilitate transit service for those who arrive or depart on bikes?

Portland’s Tri-Met transit agency announced yesterday that it would spend $1 million of its stimulus funds on improving the region’s bike facilities near transit stations. The agency will invest in two major bike garages, such as that pictured here, as well as improving the existing bike stations throughout the system. Tri-Met will also apply for $1.7 million of funds from the Oregon Department of Transportation for another five bike garages.

Portland isn’t alone in attempting to find ways to improve the commute for bike enthusiasts: Salt Lake City will build a new bike station downtown; last year, Washington announced its intention to create a large bike center just outside of Union Station.

These improved bike storage locations go beyond the rudimentary street bulb-outs and u-rack parking that New York City, for instance, has

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  • by Yonah Freemark
  • Twitter: @yfreemark
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