20 July, 2013

In Palma as in Angers, the bike is far to be the king

Even if Angers knew one of its most hottest summer for years with local temperatures over 30°, the first impression the Angevins having just landed in Palma de Mallorca is surely the heat. The  Balearic thermometer is over 36° and the humidity is not only a feeling. So one of the best way to travel throughout the capital of Mallorca is the bike. Only cycling by the "paséos" or the "avenidas" gives to the travellers the (relatively) fresh air they desperately need.

Beyond understanding, cycling is not yet a very common way of travel for Palma inhabitants. The red of cyclable lanes is very uneven : some parts are absolutely secure while others are deprived of the minimum standards a cyclable lane must have. But bikers and pedestrians are equally treated and frequently gathered on pedestrians crossings for security reasons. So, the red and green warning lights display the symbols for pedestrians and cyclists. The cars are still the kings of the streets and Palma drivers are often impatient behind a bicycle and toots are frequently used by people who probably never use a bike.

The Palma town hall has set up years ago a network of bikes for rent. The device is opened to registered inhabitants who can get a machine in one station and park it in another one after use. But the system is working only from 6 am to 11pm. Every user has to pay a subscription to get access to the service, then another fare depending on the lenght of time he will use the bike. In time of economic crisis, the city doesn't grant any gift.

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