Green Biking Is Red In Lyon

Le Ballon Rouge ("The Red Balloon"), is a French film sans dialogue that Canadian children born around the year 1973 got to see in elementary school. Images of the little boy and his red balloon, wandering around the streets of Paris filled our heads with French fantasies. Temporarily stationed in Paris, and while working on a magazine story on the Green Map System, this TreeHugger found that one of the greenest innovations from another French city- Lyon- is red. Via Mary Byrd Davis' blog, the city of Lyon has let publicist J. C. Decaux and his company provide 176 bike stations for two thousand red bicycles (up from 1,500 a year ago) available for use by the public 24/7. The user pays a deposit of 150 Euros, which can be made by credit card. The deposit can be paid when a bike is needed for a specific trip or on an annual basis. The first half hour of each ride is free- which is great for quick trips to the grocery store or making pitstops around the city as a tourist. A bicycle can be rented at one parking area and returned to another.

While in Lyon, Mary saw cyclists crossing a bridge over the Rhone River on their way to work. She notes that the bikes were well maintained. Lyon has few bike paths, she adds, but the bicycles should increase public pressure for more. An idea that needs to be widely imitated. ::Link in French via :: Mary Bryd Davis

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