Paris Parking

French car parks

French kiss: ultra tight parking is a feature on Paris streets. Note that the dust on the bonnet of the car has been rubbed off by pedestrians ‘going over the top’.

While I was working on my Ph.D. at the University of Tasmania a Parisian post-Doc and his exotic wife came to the Geology Department to study with the renowned Prof. David Green.

My enduring memory of their short sojourn down under was the wife commenting on a parking mishap she had in Hobart when she tried to ‘bump’ the car in front to makeĀ  space and it didn’t move. She explained that in Paris you don’t park with your handbrake on so that parking space is maximised.

Sure enough when we eventually visited Paris, we were most impressed with this Gallic parking strategy which included not only the impossibly tight parking one sees, but the creative use of pedestrian crossings and street corners as places where cars can temporarily be abandoned. It was also amusing to watch the reactions of pedestrians to these obstructions; if the car was in the way, just hop over the bonnet and continue on your way. This was obviously routine everyday behaviour without rancour or malice.

In the process of digitisingĀ  old photographs I came across a series of images of Parisian parking which are now on my web site.

This entry was posted in Observations.

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