A wind of change is blowing over the French capital. The mayor of Paris felt that it was time to remove the directional road signs, which it considers no longer to be useful.
Last Thursday it was near the Gare de Lyon that the first signs fell or at least were dug up by the teams in charge of the city’s road network, as reported France Blue.
“They hinder the progress of wheelchairs, strollers and people” justified Caroline Grandjean, the director of roads and travel.
Indeed, according to the City of Paris, the huge panels installed for about thirty years take up a lot of space on narrow sidewalks. And today, thanks to technological progress, and to this service that we know under the name of “GPS”, the town hall of Paris also wishes to move forward.
Near the Gare de Lyon, removal of one of the 1,800 old traffic signs that clutter up public space and the countryside in Paris. One step among others in the requalification and embellishment of our streets! pic.twitter.com/PMrweYsrne
– Emmanuelle Pierre-Marie (@EPierreMarie) October 8, 2021
Emmanuel Grégoire, the First Deputy at the City of Paris, explains to our colleagues that “the signs corresponded to a need 20 or 30 years ago, but today they have become totally obsolete”.
A decision appreciated by certain Parisian traders, for whom “the signs were not really useful because people come in spite of everything to ask for directions”. A baker also adds that “it is much better like that, because it will pollute less visually and even for the environment, many are broken”.
The concern of some residents
However, if the City of Paris is pleased with this sought-after result which goes directly into its program “for a new aesthetic”, aimed at decluttering public spaces, this decision seems to be taken too hastily for other residents.
Indeed, they remain worried and imagine the worst situations that could occur. “How are we going to do now?” what if I can not put Waze or another application? ” wonders a resident of the 12th arrondissement who witnessed the withdrawal of the first. The latter explains that she “used to look at them when she was looking for her way.”
Others also fear that motorists who are unfamiliar with Paris will not find their direction and cause accidents when looking for their way.
The final objective of the town hall of Paris is to remove the 1,800 white panels with the names of the directions inscribed and circled in black in the shape of an arrow. On the other hand, “the survivors” will remain the indication panels as for the car parks or the hospitals. In addition, signs will be installed on cycle paths, known as the “coronapistes”, whose signage should be durable.
Regarding the direction signs that are and will be removed, the Paris city hall has not yet communicated on a possible possibility of recycling the materials.