The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our way of life for over two years now. From masking to social distancing to working from home, the health crisis hasn’t just shifted the way we conduct business, it’s altered our personal lives as well. With fewer people eating in restaurants, delivery services have grown in popularity.
However, as several cities in France found out, that spike in ordering out isn’t beneficial for everyone. The issue first arose in the French cities of Nantes and Montpellier. With more and more delivery scooters clogging regional roadways, locals complained that the scooterists caused too much traffic and nuisance.
When the roads aren’t packed, delivery drivers have also been cited for excessive speed and utilizing zones meant for pedestrians. At the beginning of 2021, the Nantes authorities already issued €135 ($146 USD) fines to 18 delivery drivers.
Paris has dealt with similar issues throughout the pandemic and the city hopes to address the problem with new restrictions. Paris’ 17th arrondissement will act as a testing ground for the program, with authorities forcing delivery drivers to park at the intersection of Avenue de Villiers and Boulevard Berthier.
Officials hope the centralized parking area will free up local roadways and cut down on neighborhood noise, but the section can only accommodate 10 delivery drivers at once. On the other hand, if the 17th arrondissement’s program works, the authorities will expand the practice to other parts of the city.
While Paris’ new approach may address the symptoms associated with the rise of delivery services, officials understand that restaurants specializing in delivery-only operations also contribute to the problem. During the pandemic, the so-called Dark Stores or Dark Kitchens converted to conducting business out of warehouses, which is illegal without the appropriate authorization.
In March, 2022, officials even proposed closing 45 such establishments and levying fines as high as €25,000 ($27,000 USD). For now, the practice still stands, but several France has proven that they aren't afraid to introduce new regulations in the past.