Saturday, August 04, 2007

Cyclists, AKA negros

In Athens, cyclists can enter with their bikes on the metro Green Line ONLY on the last wagon through the last door. And I thought apartheid was dead long ago.

As if that wasn't enough, bicyclists can use the trains ONLY at off peak hours. That means, if you like to use your bicycle to go to work, you lose.

On the Blue and Red Line (the newest and the most central ones) bicycles are totally forbidden.

How does it sound to you? Are cyclists allowed in your metro system?

As I was taking this photo, a security guard approached me and said that taking photos of the sign is forbidden. I said "oh, my. So I cannot take a picture of a PUBLIC sign!" I hope the metro company won't sue me over this. Or, think about what happens to cyclists with cameras!! :-)


vagabondblogger said...

I would think Athens would welcome cyclists instead of more exhaust from cars. Also, looks like you've imported a few Egyptian security guards, as they're the same way here. I'm forever being chased here in Cairo, by the lowest rung officers screaming, "no picture!"

Anonymous said...

Wait! Its exactly the same rule that applies in Paris and Marseille Metro ! Its just because bicycles take too much place in a wagon thats all. And admit that the metros are often very crowded. Please do not try to criticize without any real reason. Your vosotors will also appreciate the good sides of your city !)

Ovelikios said...

You got a point. But the fact is that no bicycles are allowed in two metro lines at all. Not even off-peak hours.

Also, the same rule being applied to Paris and Marseilles does not make the rule right, right? :-)

Anonymous said...

You're comparing this to apartheid? Are you mad or something... do you even know what you're saying?

This is standard in any Metro that allows bicycles - and many Metros around the world do not allow bikes at all. They take up too much room. Try taking a bike on a crowded train at peak time and see how many friends you make with other passengers. You'll never feel so hated! In London only 10% of Underground lines allow bicycles on board, and even then I've never even seen anyone use them.

I think it's good of ISAP to allow bikes in the first place - at least they're thinking of cyclists, a bit. In all other respects Athens is the least cycle-friendly city in Europe.

Ovelikios said...

A city either promotes bicycle use or it does not. Athens does not.

As for the metro, Atlanta and Copenhagen (just two examples) allow bikes in the trains. It seems that opinions are split on that.

cheaplog said...

Having grown up in a city (Trikala) that used to have at least one bike per household, I find that Athens is the most actively bike-unfriendly place I've ever visited. However the railway's "discrimination" is against bikes and not bikers and I think demanding to take your vehicle with you everywhere doesn't respect other people's rights (to get on the damn train, for example). Both Atlanta and Copenhagen do have rush hour restrictions, as does every other metropolitan railway system on the world.

In other words, it's highly probable that Greeks copied these rules by chance rather than intentionally, but they are there for a reason.