Pedestrians & Traffic in Paris

A few things I learned about the traffic in Paris; if you are a pedestrian on the roads in Paris; you are holding the shortest end of the stick.

For your own safety, it is important to know the following: motorized vehicles (practically speaking) always have the right of way. To wander around the streets of Paris is much like a sport and on the very busy roads in this city; the pedestrian is an easy target. On one’s first visit to Paris, one might wonder why people are just standing next to the zebra crossings without just crossing the street. For one they might be scared to walk out in the road (it was not more than four years ago Paris was known as one of the deadliest cities in the world for pedestrians), but the pedestrian crossings I learned work more as a guideline than a showstopper for vehicles. The cars will not stop so it is up to the pedestrian to wait until there are no cars in sight before it is safe to cross the street. Some of the crossings accompany traffic lights, but even then the signal can show green to cars as well and it is the pedestrian gives the right of way to the vehicle. This is probably why there are police officers in the street regulating traffic when the traffic lights are out of order. 

Photo: “Zebra Crossing” Paris, France
Photo credit: Minamie’s Photo

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