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A year ago, the Paris town hall introduced a new rule that raised eyebrows among motorized two-wheel enthusiasts: paid parking for motorcycles and scooters. The stated objective was to promote a “measure of equity between users, regardless of the vehicle used”, while encouraging the adoption of less polluting vehicles. But a year later, what is the verdict? Julien Guaquier, administrator of the Fédération des Motards de France (FMF), gives us his analysis of the impact of this measure on the motorized two-wheeler community in the capital.
As soon as this measure was announced, it sparked an outcry among two-wheeler users in Paris. Julien Guaquier does not mince his words: “ The aim was clearly to constrain users of motorized two-wheelers. Parking motorcycles and scooters, unlike cars and heavy goods vehicles, is much less inconvenient given that their dimensions are much smaller “. According to certain local elected officials from different regions of France, this measure is perceived as a “racket”, with fines ranging from €25 to €37 depending on the district.
The paid parking paradox
For Julien Guaquier, the decision of Paris town hall is all the more incomprehensible when we consider the traffic challenges in the capital. He believes that the use of motorized two-wheelers should be encouraged rather than restricted: “ Today, Paris City Hall does not want to implement a car-free policy, but rather an engine-free policy. A punitive and non-constructive policy “, he laments.
According to data from AAA Data, sales of scooters and motorcycles in inner-city Paris fell by 10% in the first half of 2023. Of course, it is difficult to attribute this drop solely to paid parking (other factors like the upcoming introduction of technical inspection, Crit’Air restrictions, etc., also play a role). Julien Guaquier asks the following question: “ What mode of transport have people who have given up on motorized two-wheelers turned to? Faced with the problems encountered in public transport, it is difficult to imagine that this is the attractive solution ».
A restrictive policy
A year after the implementation of paid parking, the deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Grégoire, announced that since September 2023, electric motorized two-wheelers no longer need to pay to park in a free space. For Julien Guaquier, this decision is in line with the policy of the mayor of Paris towards thermal vehicles, although they are not the enemies of the city. These restrictive policies could have an impact on mobility in the Paris region, already facing significant traffic and public transport problems.
Julien Guaquier concludes by affirming that it is very likely that several large cities will consider charging parking for thermal motorized two-wheelers in the coming years.
To sum up
Since September 2022, paid parking for two-wheelers in Paris has sparked debate. Objective: equity and promotion of ecological vehicles. A year later, sales are down and criticism persists. This policy, considered punitive, could extend to other cities.
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