Friday, July 24, 2009

Perils for Pedestrians comes to Paris to learn about Vélib

Perils for Pedestrians is a monthly cable TV program dedicated to improving the quality of the pedestrian environment in the US and Canada. Perils' director John Z. Wetmore came to Paris to interview some of the locals to get their views on bicycles, public space, and Vélib' for a series for North American cable television.

- John Z. Wetmore reporting from Paris

Wetmore to Britton on Vélib'
One of these looks straight at Vélib' and captures a 15 minute dialogue with the editor of World Streets. You can pick up Mr. Wetmore's questions and their exchange by clicking here to (Interestingly enough, while this program was shot here in Paris last winter it actually arrived here on the day of Velib's second anniversary - see "Happy birthday Vélib', now you are two".)

The two full length programs which you can access directly from here include:

Perils for Pedestrians - Episode 157: Paris 1 and 2

1. Perils travels to Paris to talk with Jean Paul Lechevalier about walking in Paris and their public interest group, Les Droits du Piéton (The Rights of Pedestrians), active for many years here in Paris and in many other parts of France through their national association.

Les Droits du Piéton -
Maison des Associations du 1er Arrondissement
Forum des Halles - Cidex N° 209
75045 Paris cedex 1e
Tel/Fax : 01 43 35 08 04

2. Perils looks at the Vélib' public bicycle system in Paris with Eric Britton of New Mobility Partnerships and World Streets (above).

Episode 158: Paris 3 and 4 -

3. Perils talks with two young cyclists to get their views on day to day cycling in Paris.

4. Perils talks with Norma Mashaal of "MDB - Mieux se Déplacer à Bicyclette" ("Better to Move around by Bicycle"), Paris's oldest and most active cycling group to get the big picture on cycling in the City of Light. (Executive summary: The success of Vélib' was not in fact born in one day.)

MDB - Mieux se Déplacer à Bicyclette.
32 rue Raymond Losserand, 75014 PARIS
Tél : 01 43 20 26 02

Both episodes will be screened on The Universityhouse Channel in the U.S. on July 21 and 28. Check your local station schedule for exact times.

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Editor's comment:

In the context of Vélib' and the more general "Greening of Paris" program behind it and many of the other mobility innovations that are on-going here, how many times have we received radio, television, and film teams from around the world who come to Paris to meet, observe, interview, and try out for themselves some of the new mobility modes which are together changing the face of this city? In the last two years alone we have shaken the hands, looked in the eyes and tried to answer the questions of filmmakers and reporters from places as far away as India, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Pakistan, Australia, and the United States.

It is a consistent pleasure to receive and work with them. It is also a real learning process for us each time. And all this has led to a growing inventory of media almost all of which are freely available to anyone on the planet with a single click. (For a working guide to many of these that we have participated in, let us point you to

Image after image, program after program, film after film, all of this work is slowly coming together to get the word out. Each project has its own special touch. Nothing is redundant since there is a huge and needful world out there and these are new messages.

Do you have an idea for a video, podcast, radio or television program on any of the topics which we are working hard to cover under World Streets? If so, do not hesitate to get in touch. One by one, step after step, we will together get the message out.

Related New Mobility media:

* PBS prime time documentary (Dec. 2008), now available at, click Webcast, then Paris.

* Vélib – The Greening of Paris - (8 minutes)

* From bikeshare to carshare (Not so fast!) - (5 minutes)

* Rethinking Streets in Paris - (6 minutes)

* Mobilien: Paris’ Version of Bus Rapid Transit - (4 minutes)

* Vélib' cycles in Paris (7 Aug. 2007, 10 minutes) Interviews and images on the occasion of the opening of the Vélib' project in Paris. Cycling as a new form of urban public transport.

* Vélib' Cycles in Pune (12 Aug. 2007, 9 minutes) A Vélib' project in Indian cities. Is it possible?

* The Greening of Paris (Vol. 1)
Draft of one part of a film under preparation in support of the Greening of Paris component of the New Mobility Agenda's program "Reinventing Transport in Cities". - (The full rushes (19 minutes) can be viewed at

* Contested Streets A documentary produced by the New York City advocacy group Transportation Alternatives with
new footage of reclaimed streets in London, Copenhagen and Paris and features interviews with leading figures in NYC, London, Paris and Copenhagen. -

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