August 5, 2021

Paid parking for two-wheelers in Paris: the anger of “swindled” bikers was not long in coming

Their reaction was immediate. At the end of the press conference organized this Tuesday afternoon by David Belliard to present the new parking regulations in Paris, they were there, in front of the town hall, ready to make their arguments heard against the end of free parking. for two-wheelers in the capital.

“This is all a scam,” scolds Jean-Marc Belotti, coordinator for Paris and the small crown of the French federation of angry bikers. Two-wheelers are a solution, not a problem. Above all, we are bringing more fluidity to the traffic. “

Have to pay to occupy public space? “Why not ask the same for bicycles, scooters, pedestrians? retorts Jean-Marc Belotti. We do not ask for any infrastructure, only painting on the ground. There are already taxes for this. If a town hall needs parking revenues for its finances, it is because there is a real management problem. “

What the City obviously refutes. If, in its 2021 budget, it had indeed forecast an increase in parking revenue of 45 million euros, this figure has not been revised upwards. Proof that this reform is not done in this direction, according to her.

“I will continue to drive and I will pay, but it makes me want to leave Paris”

The words of Jean-Marc Belotti, who announces already consider “all possible remedies” to oppose this reform, however, easily find echoes among those he represents. Near the Montparnasse station (15th century), weariness takes precedence. “I’m a little disgusted,” admits Dominique, 52, sales representative in Paris. I will continue to drive and I will pay, but it makes me want to leave Paris. “Same story for Yves, 48, architect, who denounces a choice motivated primarily by money. “It’s another racket,” he quipped, specifying that he will pay anyway: “No choice. “

VIDEO. In Paris, the parking of motorcycles and scooters becomes chargeable

But this decision taken by Anne Hidalgo’s teams does not only affect Parisians. In the inner suburbs but also in the outer suburbs, we do not fail to react. “He’s finally going to stop taunting us with his scooter!” Patrick, a user on four wheels, is not unhappy to call his colleague, “pilot” of a two-wheeler for four years, on the phone. This Seine-et-Marne banker comes to work every day in the 6th arrondissement. By learning that he will have to pay from 2022 the parking of his mount until then parked “hard” at the bottom of the building, Thomas grumbles dryly. ” And after ? A toll for motorcycles? He annoys.

The scooter, “a 125 that drives well”, is not just a choice of mobility, it is a life project. “We lived in Paris, with my wife and our first child,” he says. Before the birth of the second, we made the choice to move away, but only because I could move around and park easily… ”In the background, his colleague recalls that“ it won’t cost so much ”. Of course, “you have to see the detail,” sighs Thomas, determined to turn to his employer to see if he can benefit from assistance.

Some agree if it’s for more comfort

However, there are more measured bikers. Like Mickaël, inhabitant of Val-d’Oise. For his part, paying to occupy public space, that seems rather normal to him. “On the other hand, I would find it absurd to pay the same price as for a car,” he continues. Half, that sounds good to me. He, who had already had a motorbike stolen from Porte de Pantin in the 19th century, made it a condition. “We have to be able to tie him up!” Pay, okay, but for the parking AND the peace. “

But if the City has taken such a decision, it is not primarily against bikers, it is rather for pedestrians. In order to give them back the place they should enjoy in the public space. So, it is easy to find those who are satisfied with these new measures. Charles, 24, photographer in Paris, believes that the decision makes sense: “We must reduce pollution and traffic in the city,” he underlines. And then, it’s fair, since cars already pay, two-wheelers must also pay. “

Manon, 28 years old and creator of a brand of electric scooters, is necessarily delighted with the measure against thermal scooters.
Manon, 28 years old and creator of a brand of electric scooters, is necessarily delighted with the measure against thermal scooters. Auguste Canier

“I find it normal to pay to park on the public highway, that does not shock me”, abounds Manon, 28, business manager. The young woman has just launched her brand of electric scooters, and will be able to continue parking for free: “If it’s to make the city greener, that’s fine with me. But I think that the town hall will have to do a lot of pedagogy. “

Motorists also reassembled

As for motorists, the new rules governing their parking in Paris are less revolutionary than those for motorized two-wheelers. They do not fail, all the same, to provoke the ire of Pierre Chasseray. The president of the 40 million motorists association sees in the increase in the tariff for visitors “a big political string” on which Anne Hidalgo, the mayor (PS) of the capital, tries to pull.

“Listening to them, we get the impression that all French people are opposed to cars. It has become like a form of self-righteousness. But they are wrong and go straight into the wall, ”says Pierre Chasseray. The latter is particularly worried about the attractiveness of the capital. “The prices will eventually become prohibitive, and encourage the inhabitants of the suburbs but also French tourists to stay at home. “

Even more than the timing, “staggering when we have just come out of the Covid crisis”, the motorist representative regrets “the lack of reflection of the City, as for the closure of the quays of the Seine. There was no impact study, no reflection on a more coherent traffic plan. “

For Pierre Chasseray, the observation is therefore clear: “We have the impression that Anne Hidalgo’s mandate will be reduced to a roadway for cars and two-wheelers. It is still a very limited record. It does not weigh heavily when you have presidential ambitions like her. “

Again, the reactions depend on the point of view. Difficult to find non-motorized pedestrians opposed to the reform. Isabelle is already looking forward to a more peaceful capital. “Fewer cars in Paris means more peaceful streets, more space for us pedestrians,” she already imagines. Just as with the limited traffic zone which is due to emerge in central Paris, some must understand that the city can no longer be experienced today as it was yesterday. “