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French cyclists launch competition to find worst-parked cars in their city

The 'Garé comme une merde', loosely translated to 'parked like crap' competition is the creation of the Lyon cycling association La Ville à Vélo Lyon Métropole...

Go for a spin around any built-up area and you will likely find at least one badly-parked car left blocking a cycle lane or pavement.

One group of French cyclists are taking matters into their own hands to raise awareness of the problem — launching a competition to find their city's worst-parked vehicle.

The tongue-in-cheek 'garé comme une merde' roughly translates to the 'parked like crap' award, and was founded by Lyon cycling association La Ville à Vélo Lyon Métropole.

The Connexion, a French-based English language news site, reports special mention will be given to those who park in cycle lanes, but there will also be various categories for inconsiderate motorists to be entered into.

Vehicles badly parked in front of free dedicated parking spaces, badly parked vehicles that cause queues, badly parked cars in front of shops for 'urgent stops' such as cigarettes or toilet breaks, or even those parked so drivers can have a chat are all up for grabs.

Drivers parking badly in front of police cars or police stations will also be part of a separate category.

The competition will close on Thursday 24 March with submissions welcomed on Twitter using the hashtag #GCUM and tagging @LaVilleaVelo.

There are some early front-runners for the multitude of categories...

If such a competition was to hypothetically cross the Channel it might be an open-and-shut case of simply giving the Lancaster motorist whose remarkable parking is pictured at the top of this story, and appeared on the road.cc live blog on Friday.

Or perhaps awarding a winner would not be that simple. Last May, the president of the AA said it "doesn't look great" after one of the breakdown company's vans was pictured parked in a cycle lane.

Despite the AA's official Twitter account originally defending the display, saying it looked as thought the mechanic was attending a breakdown at one of the houses, Edmund King OBE stepped in, under the context of a social media firestorm, to admit it was not the best look for the company.

Feel free to fill the comments with your own snaps of badly-parked cars where you live...

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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18 comments

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Adam Sutton | 1 year ago
2 likes

Special award has to go to our local parking enforcement, obstructing the pavement to ticket cars doing the same thing. Classic do as I say, not as I do. Point this out and get a tirade of "we have dispensation".

They were at it again last week, but this time parked on the other side adjacent to the lamp post you can see, to make sure they made the pavement as narrow as possible.

FYI, there is a car park just around the corner.

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Sriracha replied to Adam Sutton | 1 year ago
2 likes

I'd be interested to know who dispenses the dispensation, and by what powers. I suspect it is no more than a case of "we administer the tickets so you can't ticket us, 'cause it won't be administered".

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Adam Sutton replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
2 likes
Sriracha wrote:

I'd be interested to know who dispenses the dispensation, and by what powers. I suspect it is no more than a case of "we administer the tickets so you can't ticket us, 'cause it won't be administered".

I actually contacted the council in the instance in the photo and you pretty much nailed their response. Basically - don't care, they didn't block the pavement a wheelchair could get through there. We can park where we like, ner ner nee ner ner.

My enquiry was reasonable. As in, surely it would be better to set an example than just hand out tickets, and if they do have park where there are restrictions avoid parking on pavements. I mean the road here is wide enough they could have just parked on the road.

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IanMSpencer replied to Adam Sutton | 1 year ago
3 likes

Thank the likes of Loophole Nick for that.

They used to ticket for simply parking on the pavement but some Mr Loophole argued that obstruction was only obstruction if you physically couldn't pass. Tell that to a blind person.

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jh2727 replied to Adam Sutton | 1 year ago
0 likes
Adam Sutton wrote:
Sriracha wrote:

I'd be interested to know who dispenses the dispensation, and by what powers. I suspect it is no more than a case of "we administer the tickets so you can't ticket us, 'cause it won't be administered".

I actually contacted the council in the instance in the photo and you pretty much nailed their response. Basically - don't care, they didn't block the pavement a wheelchair could get through there.

And? Since when has a wheelchair width been the gold standard? What about a mobility scooter, or a double buggy?

One little point... the double yellow line offence would be dealt with by the council's Civil Enforcement team - however, obstructing the pavement is generally a criminal offence, dealt with by the police (I think councils can apply for decriminalisation of certain offences in their area and use civil enforcement, not sure if pavement obstruction is one of these).

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Adam Sutton replied to jh2727 | 1 year ago
1 like

Coming back to this. Interestingly they were out again today, different driver but I think his colleague was the same woman I saw last week. They didn't pavement park this time. I'll keep at them when I see them do it.

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mdavidford | 1 year ago
1 like

Not a cycle lane, but still... Grudgingly rolled back a few inches as I approached, so that I only partly had to walk through the bush next to it. Dumb thing is, there's plenty of space there in front of the property they're actually working on where, while they'd still be blocking the pavement, it would at least have left plenty of room to go round on the grass.

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antigee | 1 year ago
0 likes

one from down under...evening just about to go dark so not about to unload...

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antigee replied to antigee | 1 year ago
0 likes

and this SUV has a bike rack attachment on the towbar...the adjacent sign is "No Standing" that is no parking or waiting

 

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OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
2 likes

We should have a similar competition in the UK.

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eburtthebike replied to OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
6 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:

We should have a similar competition in the UK.

The number of entries would be overwhelming.

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JustTryingToGet... | 1 year ago
1 like

A while ago in france, my host was explaining who to avoid when driving. There were lots of poxy little cars with tiny engines driven really badly and parked anywhere. Apparently (and I may have had a drink or two so I may have been gullible) these could be driven by those who had lost their license* or never got their license in the first place and were bought as throw away and/or shared between neighbours.

*blatant trolling

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mark1a replied to JustTryingToGetFromAtoB | 1 year ago
1 like

This is true, they're called VSP (voiture sans permis), can be driven from age 14. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadricycle_(EU_vehicle_classification)

 

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JustTryingToGet... replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
0 likes
mark1a wrote:

This is true, they're called VSP (voiture sans permis), can be driven from age 14. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadricycle_(EU_vehicle_classification)

 

Interesting. My host was offering me theirs to get back from the pub and was non-plussed that I wasn't good with driving anything when pissed, even a minuscule shit-mobile.

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brooksby replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
1 like
mark1a wrote:

This is true, they're called VSP (voiture sans permis), can be driven from age 14. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadricycle_(EU_vehicle_classification)

There's a bloke commutes into Bristol in one of those Renault Twizys.  Painted all in matt black, with a yellow batsymbol on the back.  Classy.

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Jem PT | 1 year ago
2 likes

The French have always been lousy car parkers, so they're going to win this competition hands down.

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Argos74 replied to Jem PT | 1 year ago
5 likes

https://yplac.co.uk/gallery/

I think we can hold our own angel

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Simon E replied to Argos74 | 1 year ago
0 likes
Argos74 wrote:

https://yplac.co.uk/gallery/

I think we can hold our own angel

Here are a couple of Rosbif drivers in sunny Shrewsbury today showing the Frogs how it should be done.

https://twitter.com/plotfolk/status/1506192059337695232/

Spotted by a Shrewsbury resident mid-morning, I had ridden over that precise part of the shared path earlier. I'll be sure to have my house key ready next time... *

Last month he posted one of a Range Rover (with no MOT, expired August 2021) a a few streets away:

https://twitter.com/plotfolk/status/1495092907040251912

 

* that's a joke, of course.

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