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11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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Barcelona success revives white bicycle plan

10 June 2007 - The success of Bicing - Barcelona’s bicycle rental concept - has revived the idea of introducing public ‘white bicycles’ in Amsterdam. Meanwhile, inexperienced cyclists draw criticism on Barcelona’s Ramblas.

Following the example of Lyon’s Velo’v concept, Barcelona introduced Bicing this spring. Subscribers can take a red-and-white bicycle from one of the more than fifty distribution points and return it at another one after use. The first thirty minutes are free of charge. Last week, the number of users reached 40,000.

Newspaper het Parool reported on the Bicing success. So did Westerpark district alderman Dirk de Jager, who suggested that the 1960s ‘white bicycle plan’ might be successfully introduced in Amsterdam after all.

One of the inventors of that plan, former Provo Luud Schimmelpennink, also argued for its reintroduction in a letter to het Parool. He suggested that the system should be operated by advertising company JCDecaux, which also runs the Velo’v system in Lyon.

There is criticism as well. Last week, A. Klein wrote to het Parool that Lyon has 10,000 rental bikes at most, which is a mere drop in the ocean compared to Amsterdam’s more than half a million bicycles.

Earlier, designer Chris Dickman criticised Lyon’s deal with JCDecaux. “Apparently the firm has now been given virtual carte blanche to blanket the downtown core with its aggressively modern, tirelessly scrolling billboards, to the point where some streets sport them on every block, parked in front of no matter what beautiful old building, ruining lines of sight that have delighted residents and visitors for centuries, in some cases”.

Meanwhile, Barcelona is coping with a tide of inexperienced cyclists, who use the sidewalks because they are afraid to ride between the cars. “If another bicycle bumps into me I’ll slap him with my bag”, a young woman said in today’s el Periódico.

It is expected that the streets will become safer for bicycles as their number increases and cars are forced to slow down.

Photo: Bicing bicycles are moved from one distribution point to another in Barcelona’s Eixample neighbourhood. More: Chris Dickman, el Periódico, Paris


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