Parking in Paris

Having just visited Australia, and Sydney in particular (and ‘hi’ to all of Jo’s friends and family who may be reading this…if there is anyone out there!) and I became very aware that the Australians are very careful and very regulated about where and how to park…


Not less than 20m from a junction…

Only parking in the direction of the traffic on that side of the road…

No parking on the pavement…

Something about leaving a space between your car and the guy behind (or perhaps this is just self-preservation)

And they are all obeyed……….
Now in Paris it is rather different! 


Parking very close


This first photo shows just how close some people are prepared to park



Of course this begs the question “how do they get out of a parking space like that?”. And the answer is that they do it “using forward and reverse gears” i.e. They  drive back until they are touching the car behind, then push them as much as possible, then drive forwards until they push the car in front forwards a bit and then they use the newly created space to escape. Several important points here:

Don’t leave your car in gear because you will end up with a crushed bumper….and don’t leave the handbrake hard on or the same result will happen.
Now once this car has left the space (by pushing the cars in front and behind into their respective parking companions, the same problems will be felt all the way up and down the street!


 Modern cars have nice plastic deform_able bumpers front and rear and a certain amount of pushing and shoving is neither here nor there – each side deforms a bit and nothing needs fixing. My 35+ year old car has old fashioned chrome steel bumpers front and rear which get gently distorted by the modern cars  But I also have a solid and rigid tow hitch…that has removed at least 2 bumper assemblies as the owners have ridden up over the hitch (which is very low) and then reversed back pulling part of their bumper off in the process 


Parking near junctions


Now as for the  business of leaving 20m (or however far it should be), the next photo shows the Paris version of this:



 Notice that The gentleman on the left of the photo is straddling the pedestrian crossing markings as well as being about 5m from the junction (where the panel on the left starts). The car in the centre is straddling the junction, obscuring the eye-level repeater traffic lights and too close to both of the cars around him. Less than a minute after I took this shot and whilst waiting to get a better shot, the owner got in, did the dodgem car extraction from space and then drove off just as the lights turned red!


No parking on the pavements


Hmmm…observed more in the breach…This photo shows how creative the French can be – quite impressive really since 2 wheels are on the pavement in this triangular space usually reserved for motorbikes and scooters and which has the yellow no parking paint as well.





General Parking


The next picture is taken looking one way up my street – Notice the white van on the end which has been parked in the ‘Livraisons’ (deliveries) spot all day. Notice the blue car in a similar state. Now notice the dark blue car half on, half off the disabled parking spot. Is this a disabled owner….how much are you prepared to bet….? And notice once again the proximinity to the silver people carrier – They are actually all but touching. And on the other side of the street, does that get any better? No, not really is the answer with the dark blue vehicle unable to park without leaving 1 1/2 wheels on the kerb!


Looking the other  way up the street is no better either. Notice the number of cars parked on the left hand side. Which is the ‘no parking side’ The small photo is a zoom in of the sign on the lower left.




Which shows why you should not park here…and what happens if you do…And they do tow people away…Go on, ask me how I know.
Well…..I came out one morning to discover a completely empty street on the left hand side apart from my elderly machine. Which had 2 pieces of paper on it – a parking ticket timed at 02:00 in the morning (!), a second ticket and a sticker giving ‘authority to tow away’, timed at 03:35 in the morning (yeek!). Why didn’t my car disappear like the rest of the street? Because I have no towing loop or obvious means of pulling the car, and rear wheel drive makes it doubly difficult. Much easier to tow someone else, there is always plenty of choice! Needless to say, I have not parked there again.

And just in case you think I have been taking these photos over a period of some months, apart from the first one (taken in January), they were all taken over a 2 hour period this afternoon whilst out on my bike.


One comment

  1. well thats really a problem but as a heads up there are auto shop that repair and you will be at ease of bumper repair because they are pro with that kind of repairs. But this parking is really not good.

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