“Mayor Daley says the Paris-style bike rental program he’s been pushing for nearly a year has not started rolling because of questions about who would be left holding the bag if somebody gets hurt,” the Sun-Times reported on Tuesday.
“It’s all about lawyers. That’s the only hang-up,” Daley told the paper. “Who takes the legal liability – is it the biker, is it the company or the city? The city has deep pockets. That’s what you worry about. That’s what the hang-up is.”
That might sound like a pretty lame hang-up, but Paris is re-examining is program after a series of cyclist deaths.
“The third death this year of a cyclist using Paris’s self-service bike service Vélib’ has raised safety concerns over the popular scheme, with motorists complaining of reckless behaviour by locals and tourists,” the London Telegraph reports.
“Without real cycle lanes, they should stop Vélib’,” the father of one of the dead cyclists told Le Parisien. Bus and lorry drivers complain that bikers have dropped their guard since the scheme was introduced almost a year ago.
“They don’t know how to ride. Parisians are in a hurry and go through red lights. The others, the tourists ride with their head in the air without knowing where they are going,” said one driver.
Maybe flooding downtown Chicago and the lakefront with tourists on bikes isn’t such a great idea after all.