In less than three hours, more than 33,000 X (formerly Twitter) users had seen his message and nearly a hundred had commented. On this Sunday afternoon in December, Stein van Oosteren, the fervent defender of the cycling cause, woke up the social networks somewhat.
Image of the chaos caused by the Christmas tree erected in Boulogne-Billancourt. 🎄🤡 pic.twitter.com/KRrLZSSc3d
— Stein van Oosteren (@LCyclable) December 10, 2023
At 13:15 p.m., he published a photo of the Marcel-Sembat intersection, one of the black spots of road traffic in Boulogne: everything was saturated, the vehicles stopped, entangled in what looked like a trap for motorists. In the middle is a gigantic Christmas tree. "Image of the chaos caused by the Christmas tree erected in Boulogne-Billancourt," reads the message, punctuated by two seasonal emoticons: a Christmas tree and a laughing Santa Claus.
Second-degree to "get people to think about public space"
The series of comments, not always friendly with the author, accuse him for many of not understanding anything that is going on. All indicate that this intersection is still congested and that the tree in question has been installed on the median. Clearly, the mess is a daily occurrence, fir tree or not, which is true.
"This photo is part of a project, an experiment to get people to think about public space," says Stein van Oostern. It is through humour and the second degree that we can also achieve this. The first reflex when discovering this post is to stare at the tree before looking around. "The fir tree is the tree that hides the forest from the problem of all cars, especially in Boulogne," continues the author of "50 good reasons to ride a bike" published in July by Makisapa.
Stein van Oostern posted the same snap on the professional social network Linkedin. This time, the message is more in-depth and leaves less freedom of interpretation: "The example of a public space sacrificed to a bygone model of mobility that creates a need that is impossible to satisfy: to be able to go everywhere in a small metal house capable of driving at 180 km/h," he writes.
The place of the bicycle in Boulogne is a subject that regularly agitates the town. A few days ago, it was the Queen's Road that was at the heart of attention: the city and the Hauts-de-Seine departmental council organized a consultation meeting on the redevelopment of this axis where it is planned to develop a two-way cycle path and three traffic lanes for motor vehicles.