We all know that bikes are inherently stylish. Now, it seems, the Parisians have learned this and, along the way, refigured the way they interact with their city. All because of a for hire scheme that was, of course ridiculed when out it rolled.
On a related note, I lived in Berlin for a while and rode my bike nearly everywhere. I was, I thought, a remarkably safe cycling city and, indeed, compared with America it was cycling heaven. One example of the seriousness with which the Germans take cycling is that in the perennial debate over who is to blame for cycling accidents lycra louts or badly designed infrastructure, badly designed infrastructure gets the nod.
And, indeed, it is clear that dedicating state funds to the creation of workable cycling infrastructure leads to increases in cycling. Advanced cycling cities, like Copenhagen, have increased the cyclists safety with 92 "seriously" injured cyclists in 2010 as opposed to 1252 in 1996 (page 5).
Why do I bring this up? Well, on a list dedicated to all things bike, one of the members suggested that a segment of the city's bike path that is bedeviled by multiple road crossings be rejiggered in a way that removed the road crossings or otherwise hindered motorists freedom of movement. The response, for the areas alder as well as others on the list was that it is a given thaqt the end all and be all of transport planning is to never inconvenience motorists.
Which is another way of saying that the end all and be all of road planning is the reality of ever-expanding traffic jams or ever-expanding roadways. Obviously roadways can only be ever-expanding if we gradually remove impediments buildings and people, which is to say recreate the city as an elaborate system of roadways with parking garages attached. (see also)