Dispatch from London: Bike-Sharing

December 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogroll, FieldTrips

(what are YOU discovering while you are Undriving about?  Send us your pix and a write-up!)

Undriver Paul Byron Crane reports in from London:

“On my yearly sojourns To England I stop off in London, where I spent years living, to visit friends, with places to go and things to do. My passionate interest is sustainable urban design and the tapestry of urban amenities that support sustainable urban living. The transformation of “old school” London into the green living city that London hopes to become is a delight to explore and take part in yearly.

Now that the congestion fee has created much less car traffic downtown, bikes abound – and London recently launched its own bike-share program.  I tried out this Barclays bike system and found it very workable and easy.

There’s no charge for the first 30 minutes, so if you can make it to another bike station in the direction your going, and there is a bike available, you can literally travel across London to multi-destinations for free. The bicycle stock is nearly new, clean and very well maintained.
Unlike the badly deteriorated rental bikes in Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmo Sweden that I have used, these bikes move you with ease and safely. We will see over time if this public/private partnership continues successfully. Seeing how heavy private bike use in London is turning the British Capital into another Copenhagen, it will continue to expand and be successful. Could we see a BECU/City-of-Seattle system in our future?

Paul Byron Crane, Landscape Architect, Seattle

When Paul Byron Crane travels, he puts his Undriver License on his suitcase as his luggage tag.  Recently an airline staffer was concerned that Paul had mistakenly left his driver license on his bag. “Oh no,” Paul replied, “That’s my UNdriver License!” An interesting conversation ensued! 


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