December 10, 2022

‘Paris is like anarchy’ as two-wheelers gather on the street

PARIS – Recently afternoon, Rue de Rivoli was like this: Cyclists blow through red lights in both directions. Delivery bike riders fix it on their cell phone. Electric scooters care across lanes. Jeywalkers and tense pedestrians throb like a video game.

Sarah Fameri, 20, who lives in the vicinity of Maras, was involved in the riot. Before going down a sidewalk she looked to the left, then to the right, then to the left and to the right, as two cyclists came within an inch of her pasture as she entered the sprint with frantic flow.

“It’s confusing!” Ms Famerie yelled a fist at the swarm of bikes that had replaced cars on the Rue de Rivoli since it was remade as a flute. Highway for cyclists Last year. “Politicians want to make Paris a bicycle city, but no one is following any rules,” he said. “Dangerous to cross the street!”

The chaos in Rue de Rivoli – a major transport artery stretching from the Bastille to the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde – is playing out on the streets across Paris as officials pursue their ambitious goal of making the city the European cycling capital by 2024.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who Campaigning He is burning his credentials as an ecologically minded socialist candidate for the French presidency. He earned fans and opponents through a bold plan to make Paris the leading country in the world. Ecologically sustainable metropolis, Reclaims vast areas of the city from cars for parks, pedestrians and a Copenhagen style Cycling revolution.

He made highways without Sean Car and oversees the construction of more than 100 miles of new bike lanes during the Corona virus lockout last year. She plans Control the cars In the center of the city by 2022, halfway along the right bank, via Boulevard St. Germain.

The Parisians heeded this call: one million people in 10 million metropolitan areas are now trampled every day. Paris is now on the world order Top 10 Cycling Cities,

But with success comes great growing pains.

“Paris is like being in anarchy,” said Jean-Conrad Lemitre, a former banker who recently visited Rue de Revoli. “We need to reduce pollution and improve the environment,” he said. “But everyone does as they please. There is no policing, no fines, no training and no respect.

At City Hall, the people responsible for the transformation acknowledged the need for solutions to annoying tensions, even for free accidents and deaths on the streets. Following the murder of a 31-year-old woman this summer, anger has boiled over over the reckless use of electric scooters.

“We are in the midst of a new era where bikes and pedestrians are at the center of the policy to combat climate change,” he said. David Belliard, Deputy Mayor of Paris Transport and Point Person overseeing the transformation. “But only recently have people started using bikes en masse, and it will take time to modify it.”

Mr Belliard said the Parisians could be trusted to comply with the law by offering a fine of 135 euros ($ 158) to some uncontrolled cyclists and teaching school children about bike safety. Electric scooters are restricted to 10 kilometers (just 6 miles) per hour in congested areas and may be banned by the end of 2022 if hazardous use is not stopped.

The city also plans to negotiate with delivery companies such as Uber Eats, which pay couriers for its delivery and are the biggest culprits when it comes to violating traffic rules. “Their economic model is part of the problem,” Mr Belliard said.

Probably the biggest challenge is that there is not yet a cycling culture in Paris.

The standard French feeling of “Liberte” is on display on the streets at all times, where Paris young and old alike have almost every opportunity. They seem to have taken the Freewheeling Spirit to their bikes.

“In Denmark, there is a decades-long cycling culture, the mentality is,‘ Don’t go if the light is red, ’” said Christine Melkoir, who has lived in Paris for 30 years and travels by bike daily. “But for a Parisian, the mindset is, ‘Do it!’

Urban planners say better cycling infrastructure can help control bad behavior.

Copenhagen – Paris’ preferred model – has efficient layouts for cycling lanes, allowing bikes, pedestrians and cars to coexist within the line of space. Citizens are taught from an early age to follow the rules of the road.

In Paris, parts of the 1,000-kilometer city-wide cycling network (approximately 620 miles) lead bikers to dangerous contact with cars, pedestrians and other cyclists. Bastille, once the largest traffic circle, was partially acquired from cars, weaving bike lanes into a problem congestion. It can take up to four minutes for cyclists who respect the signals to cross.

“Paris has the right ideas, and they are the main city to see on the planet because no one is close to their typical urban transformation scenarios,” said Copenhagen-based urban designer Michael Colville-Anderson. Coordinating cycling in urban transport.

“But the infrastructure is like spaghetti,” he continued. “It’s confusing, it’s not connected and there is no integrated network. If you can get it right, it will eliminate a lot of confusion.”

Deputy Mayor Mr. Belliard said Paris will soon release a map to improve infrastructure. But for now, the chaos continues. Late in the afternoon, eight cyclists gathered at a red light on a large north-south artery Boulevard de Sebastopol. Pedestrians walking cautiously threatened someone who tried to cross, causing a crisis there.

At Rue de Rivoli, cyclists avoid playing chicken with oncoming bikes. “Pay attention!” A glass cyclist in red protective clothing and three women wearing glasses pass against a red light as he screams as he falls in the rain.

Cyclists say Paris is not safe enough to ride a bike. Bike accidents have increased by 35 percent since 2019, last year. Paris n Celle, a cycling organization, called for road safety and several cyclists were killed in a collision with a cyclist. Recently, a 2-year-old boy was killed when his father was killed in a truck collision near the Louvre.

A small but budding cyclist says they are no longer too nervous to ride.

“I’m afraid to be crushed,” said Paul Michael Casabelle, 44, supervisor of the Danish cultural organization Maison de Donmark.

Last Sunday, Ingrid Juratovich had to talk his daughter Saskia safely through the bike lanes near the St. Paul Metro train station, while keeping her two young daughters at a safe distance from the street.

“Be careful, the bikes are coming from the left and the right,” said Ms Juradovic, who has lived in Paris for 14 years. She is more reluctant to let her children walk to school for fear of irresponsible rides. “Another one is coming. Well, now you can go!”

“From an environmental point of view, we don’t want to see the city go back to cars,” Ms Juradovic said. “But it’s not safe. It looks like bikes and pedestrians don’t know how to get together.

Saskia, 12, giggled. “It’s not bikes, it’s bike riders,” he said. “They think the rules apply to everyone except them.”