Translation of Michelon, Vincent. June 8, 2010. Le vélo colonisera les Champs-Elysées. Metrofrance.com.

The bicycle plan, which envisions extensions of bicycle lanes, was passed on Tuesday by the Paris City Council. Four years from now, the Champs-Elysées will have two lanes reserved for cyclists.

The frustration of drivers will be the pleasure of cyclists. The bicycle plan, which unanimously passed the Paris City Council on Tuesday, had been upgraded at the urging of the Green Party. The Greens won a symbolic victory: the creation of a bicycle lane within four years along three kilometers on each side of the Champs-Elysées.

“This lane will be taken from the roadway,” explained Jacques Boutault, who was elected on the Green Party line as Mayor of the Second District. “Bicycles should not be taking space from pedestrians when cars are occupying 80% of the street.” The plan envisions a continuous route along the Rue de Rivoli and the Champs-Elysées. “This means that there will be a bicycle route across the Place de la Concorde,” Boutault suggested. The city’s bicycle network will be expanded from 440 kilometers to 700 by 2014.

Another Green Party proposal that was included in the plan is the creation of 2000 bicycle parking spots per year, instead of the 1000 per year originally envisioned. Half of these spaces will be on city property, in the courtyards of public housing projects, and the other half will take up road space, if necessary from automobile parking, as was done in 2007 for the 1400 Vélib’ stations.

“The message is clear: the car is not welcome in the central city,” explained Mayor Boutault. “People who travel by car will have to use private facilities.” In the central districts, a quarter of households own at least one car.

Photo: Travis Fox

Here’s a great Planet Money video where you get to see Adam Davidson figuring out why jitneys in Haiti are painted so vibrantly. However, I think there’s a mistranslation at 3:48 in the video.

Driver Patrick Toulousma is translated as saying “One can read the skill of a driver from the exterior of the vehicle in question,” and Davidson, clearly not a Creole speaker, goes with that.

I don’t know Creole myself, but it sure sounds like Standard French to me, and pretty formal:  “On peut lire l’image du chauffeur à travers la véhicule en question,” literally,  “One can read the image of the driver through the vehicle in question.” If a Parisian said that to me I would translate it as, “You can pick up on the driver’s image by looking at their vehicle.”

What does Toulousma mean by “image”? I’m guessing he’s referring to glamour, which Cap’n Transit argues can influence people’s decisions about a single trip.

Decentralized cooperation: our capital will soon have its streetcar line. The French company Lohr, based in Strasbourg, will construct it.

Coop?ration d?centralis?e : Bient?t une ligne de tramway ? Bamako, A. Doumbia, L’Essor, April 14, 2009.

A signing ceremony for two agreements towards this goal was held by Malian head of state Amadou Toumani Tour?. The initiative is part of the cooperation framework that has been established between France and our country. The signing took place in the Koulouba palace, in the presence of government ministers and the French ambassador to Mali, Michel Reveyrand De Menthon.

The first agreement was signed by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, Ahmed Diane S?m?ga, and the representative of the Lohr Industrie corporation, Jean Fran?ois Argence, for the delivery of the equipment. This was the first step in what will be the first streetcar line in Bamako, which the French representatives explained would be compatible with the particular requirements of the District and its population. In fact, Strasbourg has not only a streetcar network but also a factory that produces streetcars.

Bamako is currently grappling with three problems: health, urban mobility and urbanization. The city is modernizing, but improvements are lagging. The other accord, within the decentralized cooperation framework, signed between the mayor of the District, Adama Sangar?, and his counterpart from Strasbourg, Senator Roland Ries, was aimed at improving the existing physical plant and bringing modern infrastructure to the District.

Mr. Ries, who is on his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa, thanked President Tour? for the warm welcome he had shown the delegation from Strasbourg. He announced that the agreement had already been ratified by the Strasbourg city council. He reminded the audience that Strasbourg has extensive experience in public transit that it wants to make available to our country.

President Tour? explained that Bamako’s transportation needs are constantly growing. “We will no longer be satisfied with minibuses and other mass transit vehicles. This is why I wanted to bring a streetcar line to the District. The city of Strasbourg, which generously agreed to a preliminary technical consultation, wants to give its best to ensure our satisfaction,” he enthused. Mr. Tour? expects to double energy production here by 2012 to power the tramway.

A note on cooperation: many French towns have sister-city agreements with cities here. The relationship between Angers and Bamako, for example, is long-lasting. President Tour? wants to guide the country towards a more open form of partnership. He observed with pleasure that the decentralized cooperation between our two countries is very dynamic.