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Paris Has An Impossible Crossroads Cars Can’t Escape

One of my personal favorites photos is an old picture I took in Venice. It’s of a small yellow sign with black font for “Per S. Marco,” the San Marco Piazza where St. Mark’s Cathedral is located. There’s absolutely nothing notable about this sign or the building it’s on. Except for the fact that it has two arrows pointing in entirely different directions. There’s a wonderful silliness to the sign that I love. It captures just how winding and confusing it can be to wander the city. And yet, I can honestly say, it has nothing on a situation currently going on in Paris. Because the City of Lights has an impossible intersection for cars. A crossroads that features “No Entry” signs in all four directions.

The Tim Traveller on YouTube highlighted a ridiculous situation Parisian drivers are currently experiencing in the center of the city. There is a four-way intersection that, like many parts of Paris, is designed to be pedestrian friendly. It looks totally normal, and in most ways it is. Only certain vehicles, like public transportation and bikes, can go in certain directions.

But considering it is possible for a regular car to drive into it, there’s literally no direction it can turn down. Cars can get to the crossroads; no sign tells them they can’t. But once there they apparently are meant to get out, take their car apart piece by piece, and carry it home.

A no entry traffic sign in paris, with a blue sign of approved vehicles and people above itThe Tim Traveller

This was obviously not what the city had in mind. And the explanation for how it happened makes total sense: someone screwed up. There should be a no-entry sign at a nearby street, which would prevent this problem entirely.

You’d think a situation like this would be easy to fix. But as this video shows, Paris didn’t exactly get it right when it tried. Say what you will about that Venetian sign I love so dearly. But at least it points in the right direction. Both of them.