“Little pedestrians”: a first step to secure the environment of schools in Marseille

It’s a daily hell. The journey for the small students of the Breteuil School and their parents turns out to be an obstacle course every day. Narrow sidewalks lined with barriers quickly become a traffic jam of pedestrians at school entrance and exit times, roaring cars and motorcycles clattering into the street to burst the eardrums. Not to mention the lingering smell of gas from exhaust pipes that, trapped between buildings, simply make the air on the street unbreathable… To avoid this nuisance, some parents opt for the “minute drop-off” in preschool. A practice that contributes to fueling traffic and pollution problems on this already very busy axis.

It is therefore no coincidence that the security assistant of the city of Marseille, Yannick Ohanessian, came to this school on Tuesday 12 October to present to the press the “Little pedestrian” system that was set up for the first time that day. It is intended to be used in schools in village centres. The concept: retirees hired by the town hall as temporary workers ensure the safety of children and parents crossing the road. Equipped with a small circular “Stop School” sign, one of the temporary workers stands on the opposite side of the zebra crossing, signaling them to cross. † The human presence around schools is tripled, both with the reinforcement of the municipal police, social mediators, security guards on public roads and now this new device Small pedestrians, identified in about 40 schools in the village centers “. For the time being, about twenty agents have been hired, for a long-term target of 60 recruits.

Make up for the lack of road improvements to secure the school environment

A device that is reassuring and of course meets parental approval. But some do not hesitate to question the elected official about other issues: We were promised a widening of the sidewalk, extra security at the zebra crossing above the school and a bicycle shed. And then nothing laments a student’s mother (the deafening roar of cars grazing the sidewalk at school level doesn’t even let us hear her name). Faced with the failure of this long-awaited project, misunderstanding and concern reigned among the parents who had gathered in front of the school that day.

Concerns heard by the sector’s town hall. † We are aware that the Petits Piétons operation is clearly insufficient to solve the traffic problems in this area. “, confirms Juliette Masson, deputy mayor of 6-8, competent in the sector Breteuil. De facto, a road safety project around the school was on track…before it was halted dead for no apparent reason. † We have reported inconsistencies to the metropolis of Aix-Marseille Provence, for example a gunshot project above the school. However, we didn’t see the point of installing a speed bump after school… We haven’t received any news about the project since then. says Anne Meilhac, assistant in charge of green spaces and the transformation of public space, during a press conference organized in the town hall of Bagatelle (8th).

“Road safety depends on prevention, and therefore on road improvements”

Anne Meilhac, assistant responsible for green spaces and the transformation of public space

On the issue of strengthening the municipal police to limit speeding and nuisance parking, the town hall qualifies: “ Certainly, supervision needs to be increased. But prevention is just as important as repression, and it requires better road design

On June 17, gather at the call of the 60 million pedestrian association near the Jean Mermoz School, in the 6th arrondissement of Marseille, in the presence of in particular Didier Jau (mayor of the 4th and 5th arrondissements and Anne Meilhac (assistant of the city) hall of the 6th and 8th arrondissements)

Dialogue of the deaf between the Metropolis and City Hall from 6-8 on traffic issues

The case of the Breteuil school is far from isolated: among the risky school trips we can also mention the Guadeloupe school (Vauban district, 6th), the Lapin Blanc school, the schools du Rouet (8th), or even the Eydoux school ( 6e)… Situations about which the town hall of 6-8 says it has repeatedly questioned the Metropolis, and in particular the president of the Marseille Provence Territory Council Roland Giberti. In order to put an end to this, the town hall calls in particular” higher through platforms, double chicanes and widening sidewalks

After a last meeting last marchAccording to Anne Meilhac, the letters that the mayor sent to Roland Giberti from 6-8 remained dead letters. Pierre Benarroche even claims not to have been warned about several road repair projects in his area. † I learned by chance from the planned work rue Grignan “Is outraged the elected official, who asks the Metropolis to take into account the opinion of its town hall before doing anything about the road network in the future.

Especially since the latter does not agree with the strategy of the Metropolis regarding the rehabilitation of the roads, as he said in an interview with Gomet’: ” It’s a shame to spend money identically on concrete, so use it to add bicycle facilities, for examplehe pleads.

In a final letter dated October 8, consulted by Gomet’, Pierre Benarroche once again challenges the President of the Territorial Council on his priorities for 2022: ” Clean sidewalks, develop safe bike paths isolated from vehicular traffic, develop roads to avoid rodeos and high speeds, comply with all road construction regulations

“We have to change the method, but it’s not easy”

Roland Giberti, President of the Territorial Council of Marseille Provence

Contacted by Gomet’, Roland Giberti acknowledges ” administrative errors » and confirms that the previous letters from the town hall of 6-8 did not reach him. The Mayor of Gémenos, elected President of the Council in 2020, says he wants ” change the method to have more direct communication with local elected officials, but it is complicated to break old habitsI am for proximity and if the mayor of the sector wants changes I personally will not be against it “, he assures. As for the possibility of responding to requests from the sector town hall, the President of the Territorial Council explains: ” We have to see whether the regulations and the public markets allow it, whether the town hall has the necessary credits and then we open the discussion.The Territory Council must also shortly determine the distribution of the appropriations allocated to each city in the area, both for major repairs and for major works, says Roland Giberti. In any case, he promises the letter from the town hall of 6- 8 by having his services studied and contacting Pierre Benarroche to discuss with him the many road problems in the sector.

Useful Links :

† [Interview] Pierre Benarroche: “The Metropolis takes the Marseillais hostage” (1/2)
† [Interview] Pierre Benarroche: “The plain must reinvent itself” (2/2)
> News from the metropolis and the city of Marseille in our political section

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