was meant to civilize city travel in Paris. But these bicycles, each costing circa $3,500, are being stolen, destroyed, etc. It is estimated that about 20,000 of them (about 80%) have been damaged or destroyed. A sociologist says that there "was social revolt behind Vélib' vandalism, especially for suburban
residents, many of them poor immigrants who feel excluded from the
glamorous side of Paris."
"It's a very clever initiative to improve people's lives, but it's not a complete success," a user of the bikes said. "For a regular user like me, it generates a lot of frustration," she
said. "It's a reflection of the violence of our society and it's
outrageous: the Vélib' is a public good but there is no civic feeling
related to it."
10:51 AM / October 31, 2009