Power to the Pedals

After decades of trial and error, the ingredients for robust urban cycling cultures are becoming clear.by Gary Gardner Early this decade, Parisian city planners grappling with traffic congestion, air pollution, and other challenges ventured outside the box. They were well aware that traditional transportation remedies such as widened roads and expanded parking typically relieve congestion in the short term but seed even greater longterm crowding while worsening pollution and carbon emissions. So they decided to use bicycles—some 20,000 of them, scattered across the city at metro stops and other convenient locations—to extend the reach of the Paris public transport system and to provide inexpensive, healthy transportation for short trips. Not your father’s transit plan, to be sure, but Paris’s public bike initiative symbolizes the new respect bicycles are getting in a growing number of municipal governments worldwide. Worldwatch Institute – vision for a sustainable world

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