Petition against closing Bessancourt town center to cars

Éric Barnay (left), vice-president of the courtyard gardens, and François Rochard are demanding the reopening of the Grande-Rue and the rue de l’École and the restoration of the parking spaces. They claim businesses have lost up to 30% of turnover. (© Val-d’Oise newspaper.)

Project i new pedestrianized city centerwith the closing of Main Streetthe parking lots of the municipality and the post office, cause a stir.

or petition (on paper to merchants and online via change.org) asking the city to restore traffic to normal has already collected 800 signatures.

“My customers keep telling me that if this continues, they won’t come back.”

Thierry Cardet, chef of one of the two bakeries on Grande-Rue.

He agreed to have the petition “asking the municipality to review the downtown project and restore traffic as before” be filed at his business.

“If people have to walk 400 meters to buy a baguette, they go somewhere else.”

Thierry Cardet, owner of one of the two bakeries on Grande-Rue

Wrath of traders

The city has put up a barrier cutting off Grande-Rue.

A sign indicates that it is now a »quiet area‘. A diagram explains the route to take to reach the car park in front of the Espace Marc-Steckar and that of the air base, just over 200 meters from the town hall car park.

In the spring, the certification works of this parking lot will begin. The city wants to make the area, in 2024, a ” the island of freshness around its restored church, with several restaurants and terraces.

It announces five enterprises. A resident opposite the town hall, forced to make a detour to drive home, is angry.

Videos: currently on Actu

“They want to impose a piece of nature on us while things are concrete elsewhere in Bessancourt. Nature is just a stone’s throw away from the forest. It is a utopian project, about which there is a lot of communication. My wish in 2023 is that we can circulate again. Have we thought about people with reduced mobility? »

A resident of Grande-Rue

“It’s the desert”

Francois Rochard, a resident of Grande-Rue, is at the origin of the petition which collected 800 signatures, “including more than 320 online”. In his eyes, this closure is a failure.

“Some associations are unhappy. The library is deserted. The city center is deserted. Following the cars, we touch the dealers. We do not understand the meaning of this project. We want to make the center a “carbon-free” zone, but the cars just go all the way. We can make the center a pedestrian zone on weekends and leave it open the rest of the time.

François Rochard, resident of Grande-Rue in Bessancourt, initiator of the petition.

Mayor, Jean-Christophe Poulet: “We expected the resistance”

In the face of controversy, the mayor chose to respond in a video message posted on the city’s website. “The resistance around the traffic, to be honest with you, we expected”, explains Jean-Christophe Poulet.

Ecological transition

“As soon as we touch the machine, continues the chosen one, one of our addictions to each, very strong, which sometimes damages the progress of the ecology, we know that this causes this kind of opposition. Of course, the car has its place in the city. That’s why we moved it. »

Jean-Christophe Poulet, environmental mayor of Bessancourt

A project that, he says, is part of the “ecological transition”.

“With an ecological mayor elected in 2001, we should expect us to be a little more ecological than others! “, smiles the chosen one, who, however, does not want to make life impossible for people.

Jean-Christophe Poulet.

There is no reduction in the number of parking spaces

He recalls that there is no removal of parking lots. He mentions the church car park, in the blue zone, “where there is always space available to go to your favorite dealers.

And we have the other large parking lot, near the base, which has been remodeled. In total, according to the mayor, there are “twenty additional seats”. “Everything may not be perfect, the chosen one knows. Perhaps more places are needed for people with reduced mobility. »

A sheep farm has been temporarily placed in the municipal parking lot, pending the works.
A sheep farm has been temporarily placed in the municipal parking lot, pending the works. (© Val-d’Oise newspaper.)

A task force has been set up to make the corrections

A working group on “sustainable mobility”, backed by a cabinet, with a college of traders, “will meet, from January and several times, to look at all the corrective measures that need to be taken, including traffic management”. But to its credit, there is no question of changing the project: “The point is to modify our behavior a little, do a little without a car and go to the shops on foot.” The chosen one does not believe that this project penalizes trade.

“How can we explain that this project aims to penalize merchants while the project leaders are currently positioning themselves in the city center for restaurants, shops. Therefore, people believe in this project. »

Jean-Christophe Poulet.

The works on Grande-Rue will last two years from 2024

According to the mayor, an important subject will be the Grande-Rue site, where sanitary works will start in 2024, which will last two years. “Separating the networks is a legal obligation. In sections, the Grande-Rue will be unusable except for residents, but it will be tricky. Including for traders. We will have to find solutions to enter on foot. You can get used to it now. A project which will be accompanied by the renovation of sidewalks and the burying of networks. “A retraining the Grande-Rue really needs”.

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