Parking nightmare in Paris in August 2009

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Parking Meter in ParisIf you drive a car in Paris, then you know what a daily battle it is to find a parking place…. especially one that is not under a pigeon-infested tree which will cause the chrome paint to dissolve the following morning because of all the pigeon dooodoo.

On national holidays, parking on the streets (in legal “paying” spots) is free.  And, in Paris, during the month of August, parking is also free… in some places, not ALL places.  I had thought that all Paris, all the month of August, was free.  Clearly, there is a lot of shared misunderstanding out there, even for the true Parisians.  I was walking back from work last night and observed a few “signs” of misunderstanding in the form of a screaming match between two Parisians and a parking tickets emitter.  And, for the owner of this “abandoned” mini (photo below on the right), the surprise will likely be all the bigger upon his/her return from holidays as the car was clearly left in the street, believing that the month of August was “libre.”
Parking Tickets on Car in Paris
If parking in Paris has become ever more difficult over the years, when will they abolish even free parking in the month of August for all?  With more Velibs and the same concept for cars (Autolib) coming in 2010, the idea of owning a car in Paris may become, finally, either a ridiculous luxury, or a real nuisance.

2 Comments, RSS

  1. Kristina

    Haaaa! Your comment about Paris and parking is hilarious. Now I get it. I was just in Paris a year ago and for the life of me I could not figure out why, this tiny car, (you know the ones that are 1/4 of the size of a normal car)was parked right smack on a crosswalk near the curb. I was going to cross in the rain, and there it was, completely out of place left alone. For a year that image (which I did take a pic of) staying in my mind with me wondering why and how could someone park like that. You finally answered it! I didn't realize parking was so scarce! I must say since my move to Los Angeles, its not much better. I bet you I could go head-to-toe with you on Paris vs LA parking stories…haaa! Wonderfully humorous story you shared. I’ll be back to read more. :))

  2. Minter

    Thanks for coming by @Kristina. Sounds like you are referring to the omnipresent Smart Car… They are small enough that people park perpendicularly, or at the angle of two streets, between the zebra crossing.

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