What it Takes


 Velib - Paris' Bicycle Transit System

Velib – Paris’ “Bicycle Transit System”

San Francisco is finally getting around to updating its 1997 bike plan. It plans to add 34 miles of bike lanes, almost doubling what it currently has. And to do it, they are looking at removing curbside parking and traffic lanes in some cases. That’s what it takes to make a system that the masses are willing and able to use. Squeezing drivers and bicyclists onto streets that are already narrow compared to other cities, using sharrows, and narrow bike lanes are half measures only. But that’s old news. Meanwhile world class cities such as London and Paris not only see biking as a critical measure for reducing GHG emissions, but they see it as an economic engine. London unveiled its plan to encourage more bicycling last month and last year Paris launched Velib, a self-service “bicycle transit system.” The system includes over 20,000 bikes, at 1,451 stations that are no more than 900 feet apart. What’s it going to take in Seattle? Ideas abound, but leadership doesn’t.