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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Incomplete faction - Paris mayor announces new Marchelib' shoe sharing scheme

Do you live in or around Paris? Or are you thinking of a trip to the French capital?

Well here's some news for all those trying to make their way around the City of Light.

The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, has plans to make it easier for you.

A bit wobbly on two wheels and still unsure as to whether you can defend yourself in the precarious bicycle lanes that have been squeezed out of the existing roads?

Fed up of going bumper-to-bumper and getting nowhere slowly on the Boulevard Périphérique, the ring road separating Paris from its suburbs?

Not keen on suffering unwanted, almost sexual, encounters while sardined into the Métro?

Delanoë,  has the answer.

First he gave us Vélib', the bicycle sharing system launched in the summer of 2007.

Then Delanoë introduced the electric car sharing Autolib' programme guaranteed to annoy any driver stuck behind one of those flippin' dinky toys and render even the most mild-mannered motorist (not easy in Paris) barmy.

And now he's planning to go one step further with the world's first ever shoe sharing scheme - Marchelib'.

The idea is a simple one: using the same pick up and drop off stations already available for Velib', Parisians, out-of-towners, visitors - in fact just about everyone - will be able to grab a pair of walking shoes or boots and strut their stuff happily through the City of Light.

The announcement came on Monday as part of a package of measures aimed at trying to reduce pollution levels in Paris - still too high at certain times of the year and which contravene EU regulations - and simultaneously piss off the maximum number of motorists.

Among the proposals are a reduction of the speed limit on the ever-flowing (as if) Boulevard Périphérique from 80km/h to 70km/h (as if), a ban all cars older than 17 years from the city centre (and drivers with less than 17 years of experience), the introduction of a péage, or toll, on the motorways immediately surrounding the capital to limit the number of trucks and the launch of Marchelib'.

"These propositions represent a new step in our battle against pollution," Delanoë said on RTL radio.

"Parisians have changed their habits in the past decade because we've dared (to introduce progressive policies) but pollution still remains a scourge," he continued.

Delanoë added that Marchelib' would not only help cut drastically the levels of pollution, it would also make Parisians fitter, healthier and give a boost to the economy by insisting that the shoes supplied would only be "Made in France".

The mayor, a prominent member of the Socialist party, said he would be talking to the government minister in charge of industrial renewal, Arnaud Montebourg, to help draw up a list of French cobblers who could meet the new schemes requirements.

Time to strut your stuff.

Take it away Nancy!

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