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Paris: Mayor Elections - A Candidate That Wants The Right Thing

  Posted at 02:00:00 PM
  File under  France
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
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March sees elections here in France for the Mayorships of cities, towns and villages. The biggest city, and capital of France, is also the most political, and often the Mayor of Paris goes on to become the President of France. So obviously the election to Mayor of Paris is very important for each political party on both sides of the political spectrum.

Currently the Mayor of Paris is a Socialist (as is the government of France), and he and his successor, Anne HidalgoAnne Hidalgo, have been at the forefront of killing personal vehicles in the city. They have launched a successful bicycle sharing program, and a less successful electric car sharing program, but they have also diminished the number of lanes and parking spaces for cars and motorcycles. Driving through Paris has become impossible, and riding a motorcycle or scooter the only effective way of getting to your destination.

Currently, there are some 26,000 official parking spots for motorcycles in the French capital, way too little for the increasing number of motorcycles in use. There are some 11 times that needed in the city, and therefore the number of parking fines for motorcycles and scooters has increased by 26% in 2011. It has almost become epidemic.

NKM Salon de Moto

On the other side of the political spectrum is the UMP, the French conservative party. Their candidate, also a woman, is called Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet Open Nkmparis link in a new window (more widely known under her initials NKM). She recently sat down with the French Association of Angry Bikers (FFMC Open link in a new window) and other motorcycle lobby groups and organizations.

NKM Meeting FFMC

She promised three major points, underlining the importance to look after a very neglected group of people, the bikers. Her election program for the motorcycle riders consists of 3 points:

1. Triple the number of motorcycle parking spots.

She wants to create 50,000 extra parking spots, preferably close to intersections, and they must be free. She also wants more parking spots in underground parking garages under the condition that they will have lockable storage space (for helmets and boots e.g.) and a non-slip surface.

2. Stop the ticketing plague.

Motorcycles shouldn't park anywhere they want, hindering pedestrians, but for those that do park on the sidewalk and do not hinder pedestrians, they should not be ticketed as long as there are no PTWPowered Two Wheel - motorcyles, scooters, mopeds parking spots available. If there are parking spots available or the bikes hinder pedestrians, then it is normal that they are ticketed.

3. Allow lane sharing/splitting.

Although lane splitting is tolerated, it is illegal and often in Paris the cops use it as reason to ticket bikers. NKM wants to push the Minister of Interior to allow lane splitting as long as speeds do not exceed 20 kph. For this she states that she will be the biker's champion.

So from her points, she would be a good choice. But .... this is politics, and saying is one thing, doing it a totally different point. But at least she supports our rights, while the other candidate doesn't.

Click here to read her points for bikers Open Nkmparis link in a new window (in French).

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