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  •  Two minor quibbles (5+ / 0-)

    Firstly, let me say that I love this idea, and I have been thinking about it quite a bit.  I'm in Shanghai for most of the summer, and the transit plan is quite a bit different -- loads of bicycles, mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, and an expanding subway system.

    But, two quibbles.  First:

    The sole cost to cities has been giving up advertising space.

    What was the advertising space in Paris worth?  More or less than JCDecaux is giving to Paris in cash?  It's relevant for two reasons: one, if it really is costing the city in lost revenue that exceeds what JCD is paying Paris, it's disingenuous to say it's revenue positive from the city's perspective.  Secondly, some cities [Brookline, MA] and entire states [VT] within the US have banned billboards, so the JCD funding isn't an option.

    Secondly, in your list of illegal cycling activities, you mention

    passing a car on the right

    In many jurisdictions, passing a stopped car on the right [at an intersection, for example] is indeed legal.  Care should be taken to avoid getting right hooked [when a car makes a right, turning into a bicycle riding immediately next to it] and to avoid getting doored [when the driver's side door of a parallel parked car is opened immediately in front of a cyclist], but passing a stopped car on the right is, in fact, usually legal.

    This is a great initiative, and I believe would really help keep urban areas attractive to young people, and really help choose to not drive some of the time, instead opting for a bicycle ride.

    •  very informative comment (0+ / 0-)

      some cities [Brookline, MA] and entire states [VT] within the US have banned billboards

      I'll be damned. I had no idea. I just biked through Brookline tonight (and used to live there). I'm trekking back up to VT in a few weeks to see a friend. Let's see if I remember to notice that there aren't billboards.

      When did this happen? It's great!

      Clark '08 6.88/-5.54

      by DrReason on Thu Aug 16, 2007 at 09:56:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  responses-- more quibbling (0+ / 0-)

      Good points.

      Ah, but who says advertising space is finite? :)  A city can essentially always offer the right to build more billboards.  (Eventually, of course, they will be less and less valuable.)  The cost of the extra bill-board pollution is borne by society, not by city budgets.

      In Brookline and similar cities, the law prohibiting billboards can be changed.  I can easily imagine that Brookline residents might think this a worthwhile tradeoff (as have many other cities).

      However, a city might ultimately decide that there are other/better ways to finance this program then by add space.  Or it could be financed by the Feds...

      I wasn't aware that passing a car on the right is legal anywhere.. I stand corrected.  I still maintain it is a bad idea, even at an intersection.  One of the worst accidents I was ever in occurred while I passed a bunch of cars (on the right) stopped at a light.  Someone opened the passenger door to get out (without looking, of course).  I couldn't swerve left (cars) or right (curb) and managed to stop short, but at the cost of sailing over my handlebars.  Could have been a lot worse, but I was still bleeding a bit when I got to work.

      Lesson learned.  I'm not doing that again.

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