Words fail me when I see this.
This young man was one of around 10 people who I saw posing on a white spot in the middle of 8 lanes of traffic going at full speed around the Arc de Triomphe.
Just so he could get a selfie in front of the monument.
Traffic was speeding past this spot in both directions, a matter of feet away from him.
I don’t know if the spot and narrow lane is meant to be some kind of pedestrian area. But as with the painted strips that are pathetic excuses for a proper bike lane, it simply isn’t enough.
A painted line offers no protection from eight lanes of traffic..
Paris is making progress in tackling the dominance of the car, under its energetic mayor Anne Hidalgo. She recently ordered that the Champs Elysees should be traffic-free for one day a month. It was a resounding success.
But there is still a long way to go, if Paris is serious about tackling air quality and being a properly liveable city.
In the meantime, it should get rid of this stupid spot – an invitation to put yourself in harm’s way, which too many people find it hard to resist.
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