From the Boston Globe, 04.10.09:
Is Boston Ready For a Revolution?A writer for a major daily newspaper visits Paris, and is impressed by the city's innovative Velib program and imagines how it might transform Boston. He's not alone. The success of Velib has attracted significant attention, and inspired initial efforts in many cities.
Can Boston really go from being the worst city for bicycling to the best? The mayor and his spitfire bike czar think so, and they're determined to launch the biggest bike-share program in the country. But as one visit to Paris reveals, bike share is about more than cool racks and shiny two-wheelers...
I'm visiting Paris to see how its new bike-sharing program has transformed and energized the city. Boston is exploring the idea, and while plenty of bike fanatics and clean-air enthusiasts are ecstatic, a lot of others think it's lunacy, given that our street system is a mess, our drivers are maniacs, and our weather isn't exactly ideal for biking...
When I arrive, Paris is having a rare cold snap and there's a dusting of snow...Even as I'm trying to keep my legs from shaking in the cold, a steady stream of undeterred commuters rides by on Velib bikes...I walk down to get my bike. A green light blinks, telling me to pull it out of the locking system...I ride down the block. The bike is heavy but handles well.
Mayor Menino commutes to work on his bike some days. He's convinced Boston can be transformed by a sustained effort to get citizens out of cars and onto bikes. He is not alone. "Bike share would allow non-riders to get on a bike with a very minimal change to their lifestyle," says David Watson, executive director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition. "Forty percent of car trips are within 2 miles of home. If bike share helps us shift just a small percentage of those trips to bikes, it will have a huge impact on our citizens' health, on the environment, and the vitality of our community."(Read more.
Image: Boston Globe.
Visit: Boston Tries to Shed Longtime Reputation as Cyclists’ Minefield, New York Times
Visit: Bike-Sharing Blog
Visit: Boston improves as a bike city, Boston Globe
Visit: Bike sharing sweeps Europe, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Boston: Paths to safe cycling, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Josh Switzky Interview, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site