The work of the Métropole de Lyon on the “Promenade Moncey” is forcing restorers to fold their terraces this summer.
“Here’s Summer, Finally Summer” the green blacks sang. Place Eugène Varlin, at the foot of the Job Exchange (3rd), the restorers are also green… with rage. The reason ? They won’t work this summer. EITHER “as little”. “The Lyon Metropolis imposes work on us in the middle of summer, preventing us from installing our terraces. Y to them terraces in summer, it is 95% of our turnover, some days it is even 100%. laments Rachid Aksoum, owner of several establishments, one of which, for the record, was the headquarters of the environmental campaign during the presidential elections.
“Date of death”
A detail that makes the group of seven restorers of Place Varlin laugh moderately, created last April, to protest against the date chosen by the Métropole de Lyon to remodel the place. “Starting work in the middle of summer is incredible! The date is deadly for us.” several members of the group explain in chorus, that they all have a shop window. “For me, it’s simple, regrets Alexandre Boitier, head of the “Brasserie de la Bourse du Travail”, I close in early July just to run out of stock, after that it’s not even worth keeping open for me, I’ll be working at a loss.
The work in question? The “Paseo Moncey”, a kilometer diagonal between the Guillotière and the Part-Dieu. At the moment, it is a rather aged mosaic of installations from different eras. The idea is a complete remodeling of this main artery and a more coherent, more landscaped and more “appeased” use the semantics of the City of Lyon.
Part of this “promenade Moncey”, place Varlin (between rue de la Part-Dieu, on the side of place Guichard, and rue Servient, on the side of the new courthouse). She must be”returned to the same level as the public spaces that surround it” details Greater Lyon. “Cafe terraces will be reorganized and the Buisson Ardent fountain will be improved.”
“In my opinion, the risk is that GRDF becomes a scapegoat between the metropolis and the merchants.”
GRDF internal email
If all the local residents are delighted with the project, the moment, on the other hand, makes them furious.
Little kick. On May 3, the merchants asked to postpone the work in October, to take advantage of the summer season “particularly beneficial”. The Lyon Metropolis refuses. “They argued that the GrDF had affirmed the urgency of the gas pipeline works.” In an internal email from the gas distributor dated May 17, we can read: “Metropolis de Lyon asks me for a letter from the GRDF to support them against the merchants who do not want to dismantle their terraces. I cannot assume this responsibility without support (sic). The risk in my opinion is that the GRDF finds itself an emissary between the metropolis and the merchants (…)”
More than gazpacho, doll soup
The Lyon Metropolis advocates a safety imperative (not confirmed by GrDF), and the GrDF seizes the opportunity of the Metropolis’s work to redo its pipes (traders report). In the end, everyone returns the hot potato. Traders don’t even have their umbrellas to cry on anymore. The 600 terrace seats have melted like whipped cream on pavlova.
On May 30, the Lyon administrative court rejected his injunction, requesting that Metropolis de Lyon be ordered to postpone until October 1, 2022 the repair work on the Moncey promenade, in its part located in Place Eugene Varlin. The judge held that “the elements relating to the turnover made during the summer of 2019 presented to the court do not make it possible to determine the part of the income resulting from the exploitation of outdoor venues and, consequently, the probable amount of the losses related to the deprivation of this part of the activity”and to conclude: “Applicants fail to demonstrate that their businesses would soon be in financial jeopardy.”
“The judge did not give us a deadline”
Me Edouard Raffin, the lawyer for the local tradesmen’s collective Varlin, appealed the administrative court’s decision to the Council of State. Meanwhile, the Lyon Metropolis seized the judicial court in an hourly summary procedure, an ultra-fast judicial procedure that allows a provisional decision to be obtained within 48 hours to a week. “The judge did not grant us a deadline, which did not allow us to obtain a timely hearing before the Council of State.”
Therefore, the merchants, under the order to leave the premises, were forced to fold tables, chairs and umbrellas for the summer. “The Lyon Metropolis says that there has been a consultation, it announces it eagerly, explains Rabah Aksoum, one of the shopkeepers at Place Varlin. In reality, merchants have never been associated with the work stream or anything else. They are the teachers, we are the students.
I am not sure that, as during the presidential campaign, the elected environmentalists will once again be received with open arms in the Place Eugène Varlin.
“Supporting civil disobedience is when it suits you”
The progressive and republican groups of the City and Metropolis of Lyon
In a press release, the Progressive and Republican groups of the City and Metropolis of Lyon draw red balls against the ecological president of Greater Lyon. “If we have nous réjouissions de voir ce projet que nous avons initié, poursuivi par le nouvel exécutif, nous déplorons le traitement particulièrement méprisant et choquant du président de la Métropole et de sa vice-présidente à l’urbanisme à l’égard des commerçants et acteurs place.” Opposition politicians continue: “Metropolis, which nevertheless subsidizes certain associations that defend resistance through civil disobedience, has resorted to the police to threaten to seize the work tool of merchants whose legitimate demands and difficulties it has ignored for weeks.”
There were no police on the scene, the bailiff present had not had to call him, the merchants had their own will, and annoyed, they bent the saplings.