The Velibs are coming?

Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby publicrealm » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:44 pm

fergalr wrote:I can't explain right now how liberating these bikes are for pedestrians. They're just fantastic. Stephen's Green to Parnell Square North in ten minutes. O'Connell Street to Smithfield in four minutes.Can't be beaten. The quays are a no-go, though. Buses are incredibly dangerous to be around.


Agreed about the buses. Some bus drivers take care and are courteous but most appear to have a problem with cyclists. We could do better ourselves - breaking pedestrian lights when there are no pedestrians is understandable (IMO)- but why do so many feel they have to break main lights?

I make a habit of acknowledging courteous behaviour from and car drivers (common) and bus drivers (happens!) and maybe this could help change the culture if widely adopted- plus obeying the more important rules of the road?

Marvellous the the Velibs seem to be working out on the vandalism front - have to say I was a Class A sceptic - delighted to be proven wrong.

/
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby fergalr » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:17 pm

publicrealm wrote:Agreed about the buses. Some bus drivers take care and are courteous but most appear to have a problem with cyclists. We could do better ourselves - breaking pedestrian lights when there are no pedestrians is understandable (IMO)- but why do so many feel they have to break main lights?

I make a habit of acknowledging courteous behaviour from and car drivers (common) and bus drivers (happens!) and maybe this could help change the culture if widely adopted- plus obeying the more important rules of the road?

Marvellous the the Velibs seem to be working out on the vandalism front - have to say I was a Class A sceptic - delighted to be proven wrong.

/


I've found car drivers to be courteous and very responsive to simple indicating from my wobbly bike. Buses are the problem because they weave between lanes and crowd into the pavement. Westmoreland Street is an absolute joke in that regard. Sometimes cycling beside the pavement is the absolute worst place to be in the roadway.

In a way I'm pleased but not surprised to see that the bikes have yet to be nicked en masse. The locking mechanism is pretty theft-proof. Proper and cumbersome.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby tommyt » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:52 pm

Generally have no complaints about bus drivers. Rookie cyclists are a severe hindrance on the road to all, other cyclists included (undertaking, stopping short at the lights or blocking the left lane at the lights when proceeding straight ahead, braking suddenly without looking etc) so I wouldn't be complaining. if you don't have the confidence or experience to negotiate a slowing or turning bus in traffic then stop until it is safe to proceed. Velibs dont look like they are built for the necessary acceleration to get around or away from a manouevering Bus (which don't forget is bigger than a HGV and as difficult to handle) anyway. Enjoy your perambulations on the velibs by all means but they are not urban thoroughbreds for fighting the good fight with the general traffic melee!

And always use hand signals and acknowledge courteous drivers as stated above.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby markpb » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:00 am

fergalr wrote:Westmoreland Street is an absolute joke in that regard. Sometimes cycling beside the pavement is the absolute worst place to be in the roadway.


People who have been cycling for years will tell you that beside the footpath is the worst place to be on Westmoreland. Most cyclists use lanes 2 and 3 (left to right) for safety. D'Olier St is much the same.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby tommyt » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:25 am

Exactly. anywhere on Westmoreland or College Green//St get out in the middle of the road and command your road space. It's not a place for novices.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby hutton » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:05 am

Re Westmorland / D'Olier Streets and cycling, Bus Gate was part sold on the basis of being improvements to the public domain.

This has not been the case. Footpaths have been left at a miserable width, the streets have been left as multi-lane one-ways (5 lanes wide) - with the result that traffic (mostly taxis/ buses) can really speed along here - none of which is any benefit whatsoever to cyclists. No new cycle-lanes, despite the space being clearly present :mad:

The primary accomplishments of Bus Gate from what I can see are that trade has been driven out of the city centre, ugly large motorway-standard has been inserted in a manner that blocks facades of the city's best buildings while also damaging antique pavements, and Westmorland Street has been left exposed as what it has become, ie a stretch of dereliction, vacancy, and urban failure.

It couldn't be any worse - really, you just couldn't make it up. In my opinion the planners/ officials responsible for presiding over and implementing this mess should be released of their duties on grounds of incompetency.

There is one question in all of this, which is the more dogma-driven tokenistic supposed "green" measure - bikes provided by a firm that makes maybe €200m out of badly-planned new adverts in poor areas, or a Bus Gate that has succeed in driving trade out to the out-of-town shopping malls, making "edge city" more viable?

I note neither of these supposed "green" schemes had Environmental Impact Assessments - well done to gobshites in the Green Party who have been in government while these template examples of bad planning have been allowed to damage the city... You could get away with building a concentration camp in Ireland these days - as long as you put the word "eco" in front of it, and provide a bicycle rack for the guards.

Bus Gate should have the letter "t" added into its title, Bust Gate - as that's the primary effect its having on the city centre.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby GrahamH » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:10 pm

So what do people make of the scheme and its workings so far?

On the design front, it has to be said that it's been an outstanding success. The bikes themselves, the stands, the electronic display units, the associated marketing - all spot on. Extremely smart and well co-ordinated. Aside from the odd crude island unit with garish bollard courtesy of the Roads Department, the scheme has integrated itself remarkably well into the city. If anything, they actually improve the appearance of many host locations, with visually pleasing ranks of bicycles injecting some civility into Cathal Brugha Street, Christchurch Place and their ilk.

Image

The on-screen interface is a little confusing for first-timers, i.e. mainly tourists, with the none-too-obvious requirement to press the green V every time to progress the registration. Otherwise a nice and simple process.

Who on earth are all these long-legged people though?! Every single bike I've used thus far has had to have its seat adjusted down to earthling level (promptly cutting my hand in the process today). Very odd. If there's a single fault with the bikes, which are extremely sturdy and comfortable, it is that the seats can be a bit dodgy in the stability stakes. I can only imagine this will get worse with time...
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby StephenC » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:18 pm

LOL I was complaining the other day that I had to adjust the seat UP each time I was using one. I wondering who all the short arses were!

J'adore mon db!!!!!!!
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby GrahamH » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:34 pm

Haha - well yet again, the one I got this morning was higher that Bosco's Tounge Twisters in their final stages of elevation. And I'm not small! How on earth somebody could even reach up that high, never mind operate the yoke, is beyond me.

At least we know who to blame now ;)
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby StephenC » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:46 pm

I for one think the dbs are such a civilising factor in the city. All these genteel cyclists criss crossing the city. The only downside is that it has highlighted just how cycle unfriendly the city streets are, in particular the various traffic cells and one ways which may wrok well for funnelling cars about but frustrate the average db-er wanting to get from A to B. As a cyclist I should be used to this but perhaps I havent been paying enough attention.

There is a problem with a lack of cycles available at some stations. The IT picked up on this the weekend before last and reported that DCC are proposing to increase capacity at a number of stations such as Portabello and Smithfield and rolling out the bikes farther afield such as Heuston.

A great sucess!
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby jesus_o_murchu » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:01 am

Foget about the velibs...2010 is going to all about the Autolibs!!

Exciting news reported in today's IT that they are testing out the rental concept for electrical cars:

...

...Modelled on the vélib and inspired by a similar scheme running in Lyon, the autolib will further burnish the city’s green credentials by providing thousands of electric cars that drivers can pick up and drop off anywhere in the city.

The first electric car project of its kind in a capital city, autolib will consist of 1,000 stations – 700 within the city limits and the rest beyond the péripherique ring road – each holding three cars.

Drivers will be able to pick up either a two- or four-seater at any rental stand by simply swiping a credit card through a reader at any time of day or night.

Although rates haven’t yet been set, city officials say a half-hour will cost between €4 and €5.

The socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoë, who believes the project could “revolutionise transport”, hopes to put the scheme out to tender by the end of the year and for work to begin on the service in 2010.

Not everyone is enamoured of the idea, though. Some green politicians are uneasy with the notion of encouraging people to use any type of car instead of providing incentives to stick with bikes, metros and buses.

And then there’s the question of security. How to prevent the cars suffering the same fate as the bikes and save them from ending up in a watery grave in the Seine?

“It’s a subject we’re particularly conscious of,” a spokeswoman for Mr Delanoë says.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby fergalr » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:10 pm

Why would we want more cars in the city centre?
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby jdivision » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:46 am

Ireland=drunk drivers=bad idea unfortunately unless they limited hours of operation
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby fergalr » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:11 pm

The rows of bikes really do add further lustre to Dublin's gleam on a good day :) A nice civic touch and those blue fenders look great.

Image
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:53 pm

:)

So here's my multi-million dollar idea for a tiny feature that should have been employed on every bicycle. What's the most annoying thing about taking out a db? (aside from cracking your fingers off trying to manipulate stubborn saddle adjustment levers). Well, trying to guage the correct saddle level for your height. Indeed this can take the best part of half a minute if you get it wrong once or twice, as is regularly the case, often all the while stressing over whizzing passing traffic and/or trying to hold the bicycle up straight in the cumbersome process.

The solution? A simple incising of the steel saddle pole (to use strict engineering parlance) with numbered notches, or alternatively (and probably more expensively) coloured rings, which would enable the user to instantly adjust the seat, to say, a '4' or a green or blue level. The first option would surely cost extremely little, while making the user experience a lot more efficient.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby Cathal Dunne » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:13 am

GrahamH wrote::)

So here's my multi-million dollar idea for a tiny feature that should have been employed on every bicycle. What's the most annoying thing about taking out a db? (aside from cracking your fingers off trying to manipulate stubborn saddle adjustment levers). Well, trying to guage the correct saddle level for your height. Indeed this can take the best part of half a minute if you get it wrong once or twice, as is regularly the case, often all the while stressing over whizzing passing traffic and/or trying to hold the bicycle up straight in the cumbersome process.

The solution? A simple incising of the steel saddle pole (to use strict engineering parlance) with numbered notches, or alternatively (and probably more expensively) coloured rings, which would enable the user to instantly adjust the seat, to say, a '4' or a green or blue level. The first option would surely cost extremely little, while making the user experience a lot more efficient.


You should suggest it to them. Given that they take a couple in every day to repair, they could add your suggested improvement to them while they maintain them. Over time all of the bikes would have the feature you propose.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby Global Citizen » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:55 am

fergalr wrote:The rows of bikes really do add further lustre to Dublin's gleam on a good day :) A nice civic touch and those blue fenders look great.

Image


True.
They're much nicer than these.....
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:28 pm

these things seem to be victims of their success - critical mass appears to have been reached. I pass 3 of these stands on my walk to / from work depending on the route I take and i see the same thing every morning - empty stands and a queue of people staring into the distance for a blue bike. The opposite is seen in the evening with cyclists milling about waiting for a slot to become free - anxiously looking because their free 30 mins is coming to an end.

I'd imagine that DB are still taking subscriptions though..........
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby gunter » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:17 pm

Yes, we don't give credit where credit is due sometimes. This has been an outstanding success. The Corpo guys who drove this through, despite all the negativity, deserve a second cookie with their morning coffee.

Even the quid pro quo of all the freestanding advertising signs across the city deserves to be reassessed on the basis that at least they begin to break the age-old parasitic relationship between billboard advertising and the side walls of city buildings.

P.S. There's a flat-back thruck comes round about 8.30 every morning to replenish the bikes on the stand near me.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby GrahamH » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:43 pm

It has been a marvellous success on virtually every level, from operation, to maintenance, to design, to location choice. If there is one irritant, it is how the db user figures are now being thrown in with those who 'cycle' in Dublin, massively inflating the 2009/10 figures over previous years. Whereas this trend must be welcomed in terms of promoting a wider cycling culture, for the majority, hopping on a db to dawdle down Dame Street on a route they previous walked could well be termed laziness. In fact, it is. And it produces more carbon emissions.

wearnicehats wrote:these things seem to be victims of their success - critical mass appears to have been reached. I pass 3 of these stands on my walk to / from work depending on the route I take and i see the same thing every morning - empty stands and a queue of people staring into the distance for a blue bike. The opposite is seen in the evening with cyclists milling about waiting for a slot to become free - anxiously looking because their free 30 mins is coming to an end.


Yes this is by far the biggest problem with the operation of the system. The worst affected stations are commuter-related points and those in peripheral locations. The former are stations like Prince's Street, where a single bus arriving on O'Connell Street has the potential to clear out the entire station (never mind 500), while the latter are stations like Mountjoy Square, Smithfield and Merrion Square East, which by their isolated nature experience excessive one-way traffic at peak periods.

It is interesting to note the same trends in operation at lunch hour. Every day, the Christchurch Place station empties of bicycles by 1.10pm and often remains empty until 1.50pm or so. By 2.15 it is often full. The destinations these bicycles are destined for in turn become clogged, namely the likes of Chatham Street, Molesworth Street and South Leinster Street, where people go for lunch.

Stations with a consistently excellent turnover of bicycles are those with a perfect equilibrium of supply and demand, such as Exchequer Street outside Fallon & Byrne, Jervis Street at Wolf Tone Park, Cathal Brugha Street, and St. Stephen's Green with its high volume of varied traffic flows.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:44 pm

gunter wrote:Yes, we don't give credit where credit is due sometimes. This has been an outstanding success. The Corpo guys who drove this through, despite all the negativity, deserve a second cookie with their morning coffee.

Even the quid pro quo of all the freestanding advertising signs across the city deserves to be reassessed on the basis that at least they begin to break the age-old parasitic relationship between billboard advertising and the side walls of city buildings.

P.S. There's a flat-back thruck comes round about 8.30 every morning to replenish the bikes on the stand near me.


I disagree. The main objection was not to the bikes, but to the fact that so much advertising space - essentially a public asset - was sold for a fraction of its value. There should have been ten times as many bikes.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby GrahamH » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:50 pm

No question there rumpel. And the proposed expansion of the system seems rather half-hearted from what I've read. Indeed, extra points should have been installed at busy stations within months, if not weeks, of the success of the scheme being noted. We still have nothing in that regard. Pretty much half of Prince's Street could be consumed with such a facility.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:09 pm

gunter wrote:.

P.S. There's a flat-back thruck comes round about 8.30 every morning to replenish the bikes on the stand near me.


I'm always disappointed that the truck in question isn't electrically powered - kind of a contradiction that all these bikes are supported by a deisel truck that drives around dublin almost constantly all day

anyway - I bumped into a recently redundant colleague beside one of these ranks the other morning just as the truck was leaving. we had a brief, mostly awkward, chat, but in that time 14 of the 20 bikes had gone again. I suppose they'll find an equilibrium but I do know at least one person who has stopped using them due to continuing problems dropping them off in the evening
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby Cathal Dunne » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:14 am

They should probably open new DB stations around Town to balance supply and demand. This way the people looking for bikes and those looking to drop them off would have more options. Now that the scheme is so successful, it should be relatively easy to arrange this expansion of the network.

The maps on each of the stations are also very useful, Too often Ireland seems determined to keep itself a secret from itself. With maps being provided at each of these stations, it will be easier for tourists to navigate our Fair City. That will improve their experience of Dublin.
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Re: The Velibs are coming?

Postby hutton » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:11 pm

gunter wrote:Yes, we don't give credit where credit is due sometimes. This has been an outstanding success. The Corpo guys who drove this through, despite all the negativity, deserve a second cookie with their morning coffee.

Even the quid pro quo of all the freestanding advertising signs across the city deserves to be reassessed on the basis that at least they begin to break the age-old parasitic relationship between billboard advertising and the side walls of city buildings.


Have to disagree entirely.

The bikes are the fringe benefit of a much bigger grubbier scheme.

€350 million worth of advertising potential revenue was being foregone by DCC for 450 bikes - until a ruckus saw 1/2 the billboards scrapped

It was done on by way of a secret rezoning map

Most insideously of all, the billboards were dumped on lower-income areas, while the majority of the bikes went into leafy Dublin 2


Of course when the scheme is bedeviled by under-capacity at the outset, it looks like a "victim of its own success". Paris got almost 13 bikes in exchange for each billboard - we got less than half that.

If this scheme was driven by bikes as the primary agenda, why is it that DCC are so half-hearted in extending or upgrading the (bike aspect) of the scheme?

I am all up for more cycling in the city as many of you know, but it is total bullshit to ignore that the DB bikes were not just damn greenwash masking a dodgy grubby deal.




fergalr wrote:The rows of bikes really do add further lustre to Dublin's gleam on a good day :) A nice civic touch and those blue fenders look great.

Image


Oh you mean the blue fenders that they also tried to sell off as advertising space, but were unable to in the recession :rolleyes:
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