TRAVEL with pat and lew

* images from the streets of Paris

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 29, 2010

When people ask us what is our favorite thing to do in Paris, we always say “just walking around, enjoying the city.” Of course I always have my camera ready. Here’s some of what I saw during our three weeks in Paris in August 2010.

Pay special note to the street sign of the man and little girl which is explained (or not) below.

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So now, did you see this sign? Have you ever seen it in Paris? Do you know what it means?

???

The first time we saw the sign, several years ago, we were sitting in a corner cafe just across the street from St. Sulpice (the church from the Da Vinci Code). We asked our waiter what it meant. He didn’t know, so he asked another patron. Before long, the entire cafe was buzzing and no one had a clue.

Since then, we’ve asked many Parisians, and we’ve received many stories. Different stories! To our ears, every explanation we heard was made up on the spot, a total guess to avoid the embarrassment of saying “I don’t know.”

But nobody, it seems, does know. The sign is all over Paris, along with another sign, identical except without the red bar across it, and nobody knows what it means.

If you have an authoritative answer, or even an entertaining made-up story, please comment below.

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4 Responses to “* images from the streets of Paris”

  1. Not immediately obvious! After a bit of digging I found the sign on the French government’s Sécurité Routière website.

    Without the red bar across it the sign means “Chemin obligatoire pour piétons” – a pedestrian zone.

    http://www1.securiteroutiere.gouv.fr/signaux/detail.asp?sSignal=2138

    With the red bar across it the sign means “Fin de chemin obligatoire pour piétons” – the end of the pedestrian zone.

    http://www1.securiteroutiere.gouv.fr/signaux/detail.asp?sSignal=2152

    Pity really, some of the other suggestions were far more picturesque!

    I loved all the pictures of Paris – brought back happy memories.

  2. Randy Becker said

    no women walking several steps behind men

  3. Lew Weinstein said

    Not unreasonable. But then what does the sign without the bar mean? That it’s ok to let your children run across the street without holding their hands?

  4. gloria said

    no crossing without holding childs hand.

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