On the sidewalk of the Pont de la Concorde, which faces the National Assembly, three bikes cut the path of pedestrians. Caroline, an off-white chic coat and beret, hugs the parapet. “Walking in Paris has become a risky sport, you never know where the next bike will come from. This is the moment that chooses an electric scooter, another device that should not be on the sidewalk, to tumble down.
On the other side of the bridge, the entrance to Place de la Concorde is a black spot for pedestrian traffic in the capital. As the cars roll at full speed on the cobblestones, the flow of walkers blocks the Louvre side. "It stresses me out with these users who cross paths everywhere, especially since the strikes," says France.
At this point, for lack of a very clear marking on the ground, the cyclists have got into the habit of passing on the sidewalk to join the Tuileries tunnel. On the other side, the layout of the bike path is also problematic. It passes over a central island where the spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower creates a crowd. No collision, but dring dring in shambles.
We continue on our way towards department stores, located less than 15 minutes away, by rue Royale. The traffic becomes denser, motorists turn orange, or even frankly red. Parisians who walk in step watch them cheat without flinching. " What do you want? It's the jungle! “Slides Jean-Paul, his grandson in hand, before rushing into the mouth of the nearby metro.
On the perpendicular, rue Duphot, where works block the sidewalk, it's the pedestrians' turn to do anything. They walk in the middle of the road, their eyes riveted on their laptops. This is called “smombies”, contraction of smartphones and zombies. Natty admits that she could have gone to safety on the sidewalk opposite.
"At the same time, it doesn't seem to bother," she says. Indeed, motorists and scooters roll behind her at a pace without honking their horns. "It is said that we walk in the Parisian way when we are on the road or when we cross when the lights are red," laughs Stéphanie. Her husband is also surprised that there are no more pedestrian deaths: 16 killed last year in the capital.
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VIDEO. Paris: hard to be a pedestrian, between scooters, works, and priorities not respected
In front of the Place de la Madeleine Decathlon, it is a festival. Bikes climb on the sidewalk without complex while shopping enthusiasts are numerous during this sales period. A scooter appears in the pedestrian area and rolls 100 m in the middle of this large bazaar before parking close to Véronique, retired, doing window shopping.
"Ah yes, I hadn't noticed. It's not good, but I imagine he has mastered his craft, she slips. What worries me most are self-service scooters. They are parked anywhere, anyhow. I took one on the foot, it's heavy! On the other side of the Madeleine church, rue Tronchet, Naïma is trying to bring Céleste, 8, and Clarence, 6, in one piece to the house. The au pair girl comes from Switzerland: "Of course, everything is quieter in Zurich", she compares.
"We get yelled at"
Crossing Boulevard Haussmann in front of department stores is a giant slalom: bicycles use the pedestrian crossings, cars move at the same time ... Even if the little guy goes green, Victoria, stroller in hand, does not engage on the nails only by shouting: " Attention! Warning ! I use my voice like a horn, "she laughs, before adding, more seriously:" With the influx of Parisians by car, bicycle and even on foot since the beginning of the movement against pension reform , I haven't felt so stressed for a long time. However, I am a sophrologist! "
The same is true for Marie, who travels 1 hour 20 minutes daily. "In the department store district, it's hell," says the sales manager. Everyone jostles, goes inside ... not to mention that we are yelled at. However, it is found on rue de Caumartin, a lane where pedestrians, bikes and motorists share the roadway… an area known as “calmed traffic”.