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That's the exact program I had emailed you about!

I cannot believe that it only started 18 months ago, and you see those bikes EVERYWHERE in Barcelona, a station every two blocks! And after 18 months they have 375 stands across the city? Now THAT is a commitment to bring biking to a city, puts DC SmartBike to shame (I don't know what SmartBike goals are, but it's definitely not 375 stations in 18 months, that's for sure).

Pretty much what I expected from Boris Johnson-- lots of waffling, some good one-liners, but not a lot of solid policy.

"Red Ken" Livingstone was famously prickly, but he did at least make the buses run on time, and expanded the cycle lane network tremendously. It will be interesting to see what Boris does.

Re: Scofflaw cyclists & motorists. Within the Congestion Charge zone of London, my experience has been that there are significantly fewer scofflaw motorists than there are in DC. Congestion Charging tends to keep a lot of private motorists off the streets. The remaining traffic is mostly black cabs (whose drivers are perhaps the best motoring professionals I've had to deal with as a cyclist) and buses.

Scofflaw cyclists seem rarer there, as well. With so many more cyclists in central London than DC, I found that London cyclists tended to be a more orderly bunch, as a whole, than DC cyclists--if only because at least minimal compliance with the law greatly simplifies traffic flow.

These hire bike schemes are all very well, but they don't actually amount to very much.

The greater London area has around 8 million residents. Proponents of bike share claim that each bike is used ten times a day. Just say that they get 10000 of them, and that they really are used for 100000 journeys a day. Each person in London makes an average of around two journeys per day so the bike share scheme has a capacity of 0.6% of the total journeys made. And that's pretty much the best case if they ever complete the scheme.

The sums work out much the same for Barcelona or Paris. It's peanuts.

You really can't look for inspiration to nations where virtually no-one cycles. The country to look to is the Netherlands, where there is the highest rate of cycling in the world.

Here, everyone cycles. In the city I now live in, an average of nearly 1.2 journeys per day per person are made by bike. There are more bikes than people and in many places more cycle journeys than car journeys.

_That_ is mass cycling...

Johnson f*****d up because true transportation planning is about promoting optimal mobility, not automobility. While cars are used by more people, that doesn't mean that for the City of London that's a good thing, or that for promoting the City of London's economic and other competitive advantages, that it needs to promote driving over other more efficient forms of mobility.

Arlington's master transportation plan is one model of this. Sadly, London's was too, before this significant change and step backward.

And yes, bike sharing is for certain kinds of trips, but mostly short. But for many it is a supplement or complement not a replacement for other modes. For me, it makes little sense to rely on transit + bikeshare instead of having a bike and using it most often when I travel, regardless of access to transit, because it is more efficient in terms of time, origin-destination, and health and other benefits.

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