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In Paris, your bike can be removed… like a car

March 25, 2010

We have today found out that the French Police has been taking drastic measures against motorcyclists who park their bike in a way that is not considered appropriate. We say “not considered appropriate” because, in Paris, parking on the pavement is tolerated, as long as the bike doesn’t obstruct the footway. But the Police seems to have recently changed their mind, as we have today been sent pictures of bikes being removed from their parking space and taken away to the pound, in exactly the same manner as for cars!

It looks like the French authorities have not been at all impressed by the recent enormous demonstrations attended by more than 40,000 bikers that took place in 60 cities and towns all over France. Motorcyclists protested at a Government’s proposal to make filtering through the traffic (also described as “lane splitting” in the United States) illegal by each taking the space of one car and causing massive traffic jams, which brought the whole country to a complete standstill on 13th March 2010. In response to this, the authorities, who were humiliated by the enormous turnout and the complete chaos that resulted from it, seem to have decided to apply the same parking rules to motorcycles as for cars, i.e. remove them all when not parked properly, even where tolerated, as you can see on the pictures. Can you imagine the potential damage caused to the bikes, stuck like sardines on that truck?

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The number of motorcycles in Paris have been increasing at the amazing rate of 15% per annum in the past few years. It is estimated that there are 120,000 motorbikes and scooters in the French capital, all there to reduce pollution and bring no congestion at all. Although the council has recently created 30,000 free parking spaces for bikes and announced the creation of an additional 18,000 by 2014, all equipped with security devices, the Police and the Government don’t seem to be on the same page. But these guys just don’t know what to expect. The French, when unhappy, are able to bring the whole country to a complete standstill for days and weeks, until they get what they want. We have heard that the Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC – the French Federation of Angry Bikers) is prepared to organise another enormous demonstration all over the country, which will be even more disruptive than the last one.

Meanwhile, in the London borough of Westminster, bikes are being squeezed in minuscule parking spaces for £1 a day, with no security devices and the high risk of being damaged. This is what bikers pay for in the British capital, that is the right of having their bike damaged and stolen in the absence of individually delineated spaces with no security devices, as originally promised by Westminster Council.

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Both France and England are currently the scene of demonstrations by very angry bikers, who will carry on fighting for their right to be treated fairly and with respect. Both French and British motorcyclists are determined to cause gridlock, chaos and misery until the authorities scrap their ridiculous and unjustified parking charges in London and their proposals to ban traffic filtering (or lane splitting) in France.

They treat motorcycles like cars, so they will behave like cars and cause congestion, gridlock, chaos and misery! The bikers’ war against the authorities is far from over.

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Please join and support the campaign to stop Westminster Council from stealth taxing motorcyclists to park before their scheme spreads all over the UK and the rest of Europe. For further details, visit http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

Rejoignez le groupe de manifestants contre le stationnement payant des motocyclistes a Westminster avant que cela ne se propage dans le reste du Royaume-Uni et l’Union Europeenne. Pour plus d’informations, consultez http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

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4 Comments
  1. Canadian permalink

    I would go mental if my bike was lifted like that. How dare they?

  2. Philip permalink

    I can’t believe this. It’s just outrageous. Surely, these bikes were parked without obstructing anything. It’s disgusting.

  3. Claude permalink

    I guess the French motorcyclists are just going to have to conform to the law and park like cars.
    One per parking space.
    It’s a beautiful day. Let’s all go to downtown Paris and stroll around.

    • UK France bikers permalink

      That’s right, Claude. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day soon a demonstration was organised in Paris where bikers parked their motorcycles like cars, i.e. taking each the space of a car, thus stopping car drivers from parking, or else, all parking on the pavement, attaching their bikes to a non-removable piece of street furniture without obstructing anything, thus preventing the authorities from removing the bikes. This would no doubt prove to the authorities that bikes parked in this manner don’t cause obstruction., so there is no need to remove them. The tactic of the FFMC is to do prove to the authorities the absurdity of their policies by either following them to the letter, and cause disruption as a result, or prove to the authorities that by not following their stupid policies, no disruption is caused.

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