It’s not yet the big leap, but the city of Clermont-Ferrand is taking a first step in the system of “school streets”. The principle?? Temporarily pedestrianize the roads located in front of the schools during the opening and closing hours of the classes.

Like Paris, Lyon or Lille, Clermont-Ferrand is therefore also taking this measure, which mainly aims to secure the surroundings of schools, while encouraging travel on foot or by bicycle.

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“We have been working since 2014 to secure the surroundings of Clermont schools, recalls Cyril Cineux, deputy in charge in particular of traffic and the sharing of public space. We were thus able to remove parking spaces, move others… We knows that cars and pedestrians do not always mix well, especially when the streets are narrow. The objective of these school streets is to make access to schools safer and easier.”

Only two closed dead ends

The experiment will therefore be carried out from Monday, November 14, in front of the Aristide-Briand and Edouard-Herriot kindergartens. However, do not expect major disruptions for motorists since in both cases, it is a question of closing two dead ends, in which a few vehicles could enter and park, sometimes in an anarchic way. the opening and closing of schools.

Closures, but at what time? The impasse Saint-Simon (Aristide-Briand kindergarten) and the impasse de la rue Albert-Thomas (Edouard-Herriot kindergarten) will be closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8:15 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. and from 3:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 8:15 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., during school terms.

On the spot, the device seems to have been favorably received by the parents of pupils met, like this father of a kindergarten pupil in Edouard-Herriot: “It’s a good thing: it was not anarchy with the cars at an impasse, it has even calmed down for two years and the Covid, but it allows us to be more serene when we walk with the children.

Some, while welcoming the measure, nevertheless express a touch of disappointment and regret a lack of ambition. Still at the Edouard-Herriot school, the initial request from the parents of pupils thus concerned the entrance to the elementary school, and therefore on rue Poncillon, which is much busier…

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“We have actually, for the moment, chosen two schools where the device was quite simple to set up in order to be able to test it locally, recognizes Cyril Cineux. However, it remains typical of conflicts of use between motorists and pedestrians in a space constrained: in Herriot, there are motorists who enter the impasse and park anywhere.

The device extended to other schools?

And the elected also recalls the imperative need to take into account all the constraints:

“We must take into account all the requests, sometimes contradictory: those to secure the surroundings of schools but also those of the residents of these dead ends or these streets, who may need to leave their garage by car, at the time of the opening of the school. We must also be careful not to displace a difficulty or create others, at the scale of the district, by closing a street.”

Cyril Cineux (Deputy Mayor in Clermont-Ferrand)

Still, this experiment should not stop there: “The device is intended to extend to other schools”, affirms Cyril Cineux, without citing schools for the time being. “We all need to be aware that public space is shared. The idea is not to say that school children have all the rights to the detriment of residents and motorists, or the reverse. We try to find the good balance.”

Share your opinion. From November 21, it will be possible to give your opinion on school streets on the Clermont Participatif website.

Arthur Cesbron

Traffic – Pedestrianize the surroundings of schools to make them safe: Clermont-Ferrand will set up “school streets”