Journée Sans Voiture Reconnaissance
|Sunrise from bike path along the Seine|
Pre-Event ImpressionsEven before my bike was unpacked, I found some great examples of the Paris bike experience. Just walking a half mile or so from the train station towards my hotel, I saw these sites.
Not in Kansas Anymore
|Paris: more style than the average street|
- the beautiful Metro signage, lighting, and railing
- the stylish cyclist
- the lovely trees and architecture
|First bike lane seen outside train station.|
Spectacular form and function
The most beautiful bike lane I've
seen in Paris yet.
Qu'est-ce que c'est?
|Arc de Triomphe at Rush Hour|
Arc de Triomphe avec voiture
The first surprise was that the Arc de Triomphe was not included in the car ban. If there is any place in Paris more deserving of a car ban, it is there. More pics of the Arc and cyclists here.
|Pretty tight and a ped risk|
- Pedestrians on this corner might be hit if cyclists banked turns where this lane told them.
- Not much space between bikes and fast moving cars.
- At the end of the curve (upper right of the frame), there is a wicked sharp left. No one is making that left without stopping: just as they enter oncoming traffic.
|Bike lane by the Louvre|
|These bevels got old quick|
Sheltered sharrows: nice but uneven
|This speed bump had some of|
the smoothest pavement
Some places notch speed bumps so cyclists can get through without launching off their bikes.
Slow ride, take it easyAll in all, during my ride around Paris I found myself constantly killing momentum to slow for cracks, bumps or turns. It seems the bike lanes are designed for the heavy and slow 15KPH bike share bikes: Paris Velib. Nevertheless, many of us can and need to sustain 25kph or faster to make cycling a practical mode of transport.
Protected bike lanes are the ideal but, when encountering these obstacles, it became very tempting to just jump in with the cars after all. Thanks to congestion, it was rarely difficult to keep up with them.
Still great and about to get better
Paris has clearly made huge investments in bike infrastructure and stands ready to make a lot more. Vive Paris for their commitment to bicycle transport. We could expect no less from the home of the Tour de France.