The city of Paris on Thursday introduced fees for parking motorbikes and motorised scooters in the capital, sparking outrage and defiance among bikers.
Riders of motorised two-wheeled vehicles had previously been allowed to park them for free, but city officials said the measure was necessary to control high levels of noise, air pollution and congestion caused by the bikes.
Bikers parking their ride in the historic centre of the capital will now have to pay three euros (dollars) per hour — two in surrounding neighbourhoods — for a maximum stay of six hours.
City residents get a cheaper deal, as do some businesses.
Electric motorbikes can still be parked for free.
Fines for non-compliance start at 25 euros, going up to 135 euros if a motorbike is parked outside a designated space.
But on Thursday, bikers who talked to AFP said they would not comply without a fight.
“There comes a time when you have to say no, and play by the rules a bit less,” said Dominique Gavaud, as he parked his motorbike on a spot reserved for cyclists early Thursday without putting money in the meter.
“It’s hard to find a legal spot, so I don’t really have a choice. If I get a fine, I’ll pay,” he said.
Nicolas, another biker who did not give his last name, said he would not pay, hoping that the two private contractor firms charged with enforcing the new rules would fail to catch him.
“I’ll see how quick they are, and I’ll adapt,” he said, adding that he may opt for the purchase of an electric scooter for his commute if fines pile up.
David Belliard, Paris deputy mayor in charge of mobility and city space, acknowledged that the new rules were “difficult” but told AFP that they were also necessary.
“We had to stop making an exception for scooters and motorbikes,” he said, adding he hoped bikers would use more underground parking spots “so we can get some public spaces back”.
The French Federation of Angry Motorcyclists (FFMC) meanwhile slammed the measure which it said discriminated notably against “poor people who live in the suburbs”.
They could not be expected “to commute 40 kilometres (25 miles) on a bicycle” said FFMC Paris region boss Jean-Marc Belotti.
“This is a social problem,” he told AFP.
The association has called for a protest outside Paris city hall on Saturday.
The French administrative court has yet to rule on a legal challenge to the measure which was filed last September.
#Motorcyclists #vow #fight #Paris #introduces #parking #fee