Paris is embarking on an ambitious plan to increase bike ridership in the city to 250,000, as a nonpunitive way of reducing congestion, by offering cheap, self-serve rent-a-bikes. They’re starting out with more than 10,000 and plan to double that by the end of the year. The company behind the bikes is J.C. Decaux, the French outdoor advertising giant (and outdoor public toilet maker) whose handsome bus stops around our city are paid for by the Euro-style billboards they house.

Perhaps our downtown isn’t bike-friendly enough for such a project, but on a neighborhood level I could see it working.