Ra'anana bicycle plan gets into gear

Ra'anana is considering a plan to set up public bicycle stands for the use of residents.

Ra'anana is thinking of taking a leaf out of the books of Barcelona and Paris, and is considering a plan to set up public bicycle stands for the use of residents, reports www.mynet.co.il. As in Europe, cyclists would be able to take a bicycle from one of dozens of stands around the city, go to work or run their errands, and return the bicycle to any other stand, with no or only a small fee for residents. According to the report, senior municipal officials first discussed the plan several weeks ago, and further discussions are slated in the near future. The plan would see the city initially setting up six stands each containing 20 bicycles in varying sizes, which residents would be able to release by passing their residents' cards through the electronic identification equipment. Later, more stands would be set up, with the aim of eventually having stands every 300 meters along the main street, Rehov Ahuza. The service would initially be free for residents, but a small fee might be introduced later. The report said that in Barcelona, there were some 1,500 bicycles at stands around the city, and that the service cost a mere six Euros a year for residents. The report said there were still several issues that needed to be clarified, including the city's legal responsibility for any accidents involving bicycle-riders and what to do about the requirement for cyclists to wear helmets. But proponents of the plan said they were optimistic that all such obstacles could be overcome, and that helmet stands could be set up next to the bicycle stands.