“Parked like shit”. The fed up of cyclists in Greater Lyon expresses itself on social networks

With the keyword #GCUM, users of two-wheelers designate the most flagrant parking prohibited on cycle paths. Beyond the joke, the subject is serious: they denounce a real danger, especially for children.

Take the test… Take a two-wheeler, in a big city like Lyon, and try to circulate using the cycle paths for a few minutes. This is what hundreds of people do, on bikes or scooters, every day. Many of them do it to go to work – they call themselves the Vélotaf – but also for their leisure time, with children.

Very quickly, you will be confronted with a phenomenon of a fairly large scale. An offense committed in general indifference, very often, with an assumed feeling of impunity, although prohibited by the highway code. And for good reason: it is potentially particularly dangerous. This is what French two-wheeler users now call #GCUM. Four letters that characterize any driver of a motorized vehicle ” parked like shit ».

On the social network twitter, the movement is really gaining momentum. For a simple reason: the feeling that these illegal behaviors are almost… never sanctioned. In Lyon, the association “La City by Bike “decided to express his fed up in this way. Claiming 1,600 members and 5,500 supporters, its members have just launched a major competition: the GCUM d’or.

The principle is simple: send, via twitter, photos or videos of poorly parked vehicles in the Lyon Metropolis. A vote will determine the “best” GCUMs…” It might sound a bit funny like that. But our goals are really serious and important. It is not enough to create viable infrastructures for soft modes, which work well. I often cycle with my daughter, who is 7 years old. It is very dangerous for children explains Myriam Galot, from the La Ville à Vélo association.

I often cycle with my daughter, who is 7 years old. It is very dangerous for children

We must also remember what the law provides: illegal parking on a cycle path, considered as very inconvenient parking, is punishable by a fine of 135 euros, increased to 375 euros if it is not paid within 45 days. .

The photos received as part of the #GCUM d’or Contest will be decided by a vote, according to several categories: the #GCUM that blocks everyonethe #GCUM cumulard sidewalk-cycle lane-pedestrian crossingthe #gcum under the noses of the policethe #GCUM tobacco-bread-snack emergencythe #GCUM at the tail and the #GCUM in front of a free place…

So many cases that cyclists and other two-wheelers face on a daily basis. The problem is not new, according to Myriam. ” I have been cycling for 20 years in Lyon. It must be recognized that many things have evolved favorably, such as infrastructure, cycle paths. Even the behavior of motorists has improved. On the other hand, no change concerning parking on cycle lanes. And this is not only annoying, but above all very dangerous. »

Stopping to take pictures of offenders can also be dangerous. Those concerned do not always take this idea with kindness. Insults and threats rain down quickly. Often, the motorist considers himself in his right, on the pretext that he makes a delivery, for example.

An awareness campaign would no doubt be useful. ” We tried to challenge the elected officials several times. They give us verbalization figures, but it remains very fragmented. We can’t get any real information. Looks like it’s not a topic. »

The association is already receiving a good response to its initiative. Its members intend to quickly make their demands known. That the town halls and the metropolis make this subject a priority. They have to communicate that it’s dangerous on cycle paths. And then they recall good practices. We also ask for more regular verbalizations, and for access to video-verbalization data. We want to know the figures by day, by district, by city, because, for the moment, we have nothing at all. »

La Ville à Vélo also intends to challenge the Prefecture on this subject. ” We know that some mayors want to deal with this subject, but are faced with the difficulty of recruiting municipal police officers. But it is up to elected officials to solve the problem. »

However, there is still good news: The results of the third Barometer of cycling cities of the French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB) were announced at its 2022 congress in Tours on February 10. We discover that the satisfaction of cyclists in Greater Lyon has increased in two years: the rating given to the feelings of cyclists has increased by +44% in Lyon and +31% in Villeurbanne for example, but it remains far behind cities such as Grenoble or Strasbourg. .

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