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Olympic Games 2024: traders do not hide their concern after the announcement of security perimeters

“This traffic plan is a repellent to consumption,” protests Frank Delvau, while the Paris police prefect Laurent Nuñez has just unveiled the first version of the security and traffic perimeters which will be set up around the sites Olympic and Paralympic Games during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

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Olympic Games 2024: traders do not hide their concern after the announcement of security perimeters

“This traffic plan is a repellent to consumption,” protests Frank Delvau, while the Paris police prefect Laurent Nuñez has just unveiled the first version of the security and traffic perimeters which will be set up around the sites Olympic and Paralympic Games during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. For the president of the Union of Hospitality Trades and Industries (Umih) Île-de-France, it will be “much too complicated” for Ile-de-France residents to travel in these areas , while “an exemption will be necessary for them to be able to circulate in Paris”. “We will have to prove that we have a reservation at the restaurant, but we will not have the assurance of being able to access it by car or that the nearest metro station will be open,” continues the professional, who believes that this protocol will discourage more than one person from going out to the cafes, bars and restaurants concerned. “There, we are talking about customers but how are our employees and deliveries going to be made?” he still wonders.

“Paris will be continuously blocked, this traffic plan is not viable,” regrets Philippe Nozière, president of the 40 million motorists association, before calling for an “impact study” is carried out in order to assess the relevance of the measure and the solutions to be put in place. Thierry Veron, president of the French Federation of Traders' Associations (Facap) says he "understands that certain routes must be closed for security reasons", but thinks that "the current traffic plan in place should be reduced by the City of Paris. “How can we go from one side of Place de la Concorde to the other if we can’t take Rue de Rivoli for example?”, asks this merchant representative. If he is not worried that employees will be able to access shops, via public transport or soft mobility, he wonders about the possibility of having them delivered. “To be delivered at night, we need to find available carriers but also that our stores remain open, with people receiving the delivery,” he says, anticipating “impossible situations.”

Concerns shared by Charles, restaurateur in one of the so-called “blue” zones. But according to him, the “main unknown” will above all be knowing under what conditions it will be possible to move freely and in what atmosphere. “Will there be security barriers? Will there be law enforcement posted everywhere? Will we have the right to arrange our terraces as we wish?”, he asks, doubtful about the effect that these restricted areas will have on his business. “Will our customers see this as a constraint or will they be happy to be as close as possible to the Olympics?” : so many questions which remain unanswered for the moment, despite all the details provided by the Paris police headquarters. “As they don’t want to compensate us, they tell us “stay open” but we won’t have any customers,” anticipates Frank Delvau.

Also read “No question of staying in Paris”: these Parisians who are preparing to flee the capital during the Olympic Games

But Laurent Nuñez wanted to be reassuring, saying he was “driven at the same time” by the desire “to guarantee the highest level of security” and “the pursuit of economic, social and cultural life”. Everything has been thought of so that Parisians can continue to circulate: already because the flow of pedestrians and cyclists will not be affected by these restrictions, and then, because the three gray, red and blue perimeters (from the most restrictive to the least binding) were designed to stick as close as possible to the Olympic sites and encroach as little as possible on public space. Result: only the gray perimeter known as SILT - for internal security and the fight against terrorism - will only be accessible to accredited people or those with a ticket. The others will remain accessible under certain conditions.

In the perimeter prohibiting motorized traffic, in the “red” zone, pedestrians and cyclists will be able to access it, as will the categories of people authorized with their vehicles, listed in a table, after a check by the police forces. order. In the blue perimeter, access will be authorized to any driver able to justify a need for access, at a crossing point: delivery, breakdown assistance, moving, access to home or work. According to the organizers, the objective is thus “to reduce flows around the red perimeters, by diverting transit, passing and crossing traffic upstream, while preserving all flows of residents or those linked to economic activities. ".

“We wanted to reconcile the imperatives of security and the maintenance of economic and social life,” insists Laurent Nuñez, who specifies that a certain number of “exceptions to this rule prohibiting road traffic” have been planned. Among them, local residents, catering and hotel professionals, provided that they have a certificate and its associated QR Code, which it will be possible to download on a dedicated platform whose opening is scheduled for spring. The police chief assures that “emergency cases” will be handled on a case-by-case basis. And to say: “obviously the plumber who shows up for a water leak will be able to pass, or that a person shows up to help a 90-year-old person who is also unwell.”

However, the latter does not hide the fact that certain areas around the main Olympic sites, for reasons of assembly and dismantling of the installations, may remain inaccessible for longer. “From March to mid-July, during the site assembly phases” and “from September until the end of October for dismantling”. For example, Place de la Concorde should remain closed from June 1 to September 7. Likewise, the opening ceremony on Friday July 26, in all its exceptional aspects, will appear as a “special case”. “For obvious security reasons, we have chosen a wider red perimeter in which it is essential to secure from Ivry-Charenton to the area around the Pont du Garigliano,” explains the police prefect.

The system is based on a protection perimeter – SILT perimeter – which includes each of the two banks of the Seine and the streets around the river. Due to the security requirements of the area and the implementation of the final arrangements necessary for the organization of the ceremony, “the security system will be deployed several days before the ceremony”. To access the SILT zone, you will therefore need to be accredited and show your credentials. But “nothing definitive” at this stage, warns the PP, while a “consultation” must open to study all the scenarios. A meeting must also be organized at the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry in December with traders and the organizers of the Olympic Games to discuss these subjects. Other files are still under study, like the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games, which will be held at the bottom of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and on the Place de la Concorde on August 28.

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