Toulouse. Safety, cleanliness, pedestrians and bicycles … Rue d’Alsace (still) not uniform

Dix ans après le dévoilement de son nouveau look, la rue d

Ten years after the discovery of the new form, rue d’Alsace-Lorraine is being judged by merchants and residents of Toulouse. (© Actu Toulouse / Anthony Assémat)

In November 2012 it is new street appearance in Alsace-Lorraine, completely redesigned and focused on soft modes of transport (pedestrians, bicycles, etc.), which was then introduced to the people of Toulouse after months of hard work. The redefinition of this highly strategic one-kilometer artery for trade in Toulouse marked the beginning of a new phase in the plan to rebuild the hypercentre, which then continued with the reconstruction of rue Pargaminières, Place Saint-Pierre or rue Bayard.

The street is cut into two parts

Rue d’Alsace-Lorraine is at its center divided into two parts rue du Poids de l’Huile, where cars continue to orbit towards the Capitol.

The southern part is mainly home to large fashion brands bordering on hyperconcentration (Calzedonia, Zara, Marionnaud, Berschka, Yves Rocher, Caroll, Morgan, Devred, etc.), while the northern half is more heterogeneous with a significant textile offer. but also telephoning, catering and traditional shops at the Stade Toulousain.

The trees have grown well and the street looks green thanks to them.  On the transport side, only occupants and vans have the right to move.
The trees have grown well and the street looks green thanks to them. On the transport side, only occupants and vans have the right to move. (© Actu Toulouse / Anthony Assémat)

“It has become part of human habits”

Ten years later, how do the people of Toulouse evaluate the pedestrian and shopping center of the Rose City? For many, those ten years are eternity, and many did not recognize the old face of the street where the chariot reigned. This is the case Camille, manager for about seven years in the Montblanc pen shop on the side of Esquirol and rue de Metz. “It is a well-accessible street, well organized with little noise and little pollution, which is well served by public transport. This new street has become part of human habits. “

The vegetation that is beginning to be seen, a large stream of people, two-wheelers barely loaded with several cars and trucks: the new look of rue d’Alsace-Lorraine seems to be taking its turn. “Especially during the week we see more people than before. It has become a more commercial, open and airy street, who took over rue Saint-Rome. And I have the impression that the street configuration is in a good mood for people, ”notes Bénédicte from the Optic 2000 store.

Haro on the “small step” of the sidewalk

He has been working in a thoroughfare street in the city center for almost 20 years and remembers a time when “buses passed a meter from the store” and the “suffering” of ballet cars. But beware: satisfaction is not just in the bag!

“The street is very dirty and the small step along the street that delimits the middle part of the sidewalk is especially dangerous for the elderly.”

Benedict Head of Optic 2000, rue d’Alsace-Lorraine

Dangerous street?

Chloe and Annabelle are employed in a clothing store. For Annabelle, the broom rue d’Alsace-Lorraine is a poor coexistence between pedestrians, bicycles and scooters. “The street is dangerous, and sometimes when I’m out, I’m not calm. I think rue d’Alsace should be 100% pedestrianized. “

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Chloe noticed an unpleasant detail coming to the surface when the rains were too intense. “When it rains a lot, water seeps into our cellars in the basement and we regularly have an inch of water.” A phenomenon that, according to her, would bother other traders.

The coexistence of (rare) cars, pedestrians, bicycles, but also scooters has not been so obvious for ten years.
The coexistence of (rare) cars, pedestrians, bicycles, but also scooters has not been so obvious for ten years. (© Actu Toulouse / Anthony Assémat)

Difficult pedestrian-bike-scooter relationship

Many Toulouse residents said so News from Toulouse problems of coexistence with pedestrians, cyclists and also the growth of scooters. The phenomenon, which is also a very important rue Pargaminières, is, for example, a narrower artery than rue d’Alsace. Marking on the ground is considered insufficient and not clear enough for optimal coexistence.

“Colleagues on the street have already cut their bikes. You have to be really careful, I confirm, and our customers tell us that, “warns Camille from the Sabon cosmetics and cosmetics store. However, the young woman finds a smile that evokes her everyday landscape.

“With street transformation, there is less pollution, less cars, less harassment. It’s a nicer, more colorful street with more people. I knew the old rue Alsace-Lorraine, it was a difficult shopping street.”

CamilleTrader from the Sabon store, rue d’Alsace-Lorraine

The real optimism that is not found among these two traders from the northern half, who prefer to remain anonymous. Their critics are the so-called uncertainty and dirt. “We need more ashtrays and trash cans! We often collect papers and cigarette butts in front of the door.

The gray color of the paving stones is still controversial, ten years later.
The gray color of the paving stones is still controversial, ten years later. (© Actu Toulouse / Anthony Assémat)

He always criticizes the paving stones

Furthermore, in this posh store, where the average age of customers is around 60 years, where we are sorry that customers cannot pick up their bulky packages in front of the store, we draw attention to the contamination of the paving blocks. “With this color, they don’t leave gray marks.”

The color of the cobblestones… With the origins of the materials (then called cobblestones in Chinese and Angolan granite and not in Tarn granite, known from Sidobre), there was a debate that ignited the city before the rise and speed of social networks. It is obvious that ten years later the “pale gray” paving stones still do not pass. “It’s a little sad,” admits Camille, a Sabon saleswoman.

“Aesthetics is a disaster! »

Caroline is a street child from Alsace. Her father was born at number 40 and ran a shoe store at the time. “Rue Alsace-Lorraine has always been a busy street. I knew the queue in front of my father’s sale! He recalls.

If a walk down the street is pleasant for her, “aesthetics is a disaster. The street is dark, poorly lit at night and constantly dirty. And these gray cobblestones … I’d like it to be done on Victor-Hugo or Place Saint-Sernin, it’s much clearer. In short, such a rue Alsace is not a rose city! “.

Regarding security, our classy saleswoman believes that “the police do little walking the streets” and that patrols are insufficient on weekends. Caroline goes even further.

“It’s just not safe. We can no longer walk in front of Monoprix with the homeless and their dogs. And pickpockets are on the street nonstop. Personally, I never go home. I’m very careful alone at the box office.”

CarolineSuperdry store manager

The second busiest route in France, outside Paris

The new rue d’Alsace-Lorraine, unveiled in 2012, has led to an increase in the flow of people. A success that translates into numbers and ratings ten years later. In a study presented on Thursday 19 May 2022 by MyTraffic, one of Europe’s leaders in pedestrian analysis, and the Institut des Hautes Études des Métropoles (IHEDM), we learn that Rue d’Alsace-Lorraine is the second busiest street in the country (outside Paris).

With a visitor density of 214,000 passes per hectare per month, the Alsace-Lorraine sector ends for rue Sainte-Catherine in Bordeaux (278 000), but quit in front of the Cordeliers in Lyon (168,000). “It’s a bit like our rue Sainte-Catherine for us,” said Olivier Arsac, the elected official responsible for the shops at Toulouse City Hall, after the study.

The arrival of Primark in October 2018 increased traffic on rue d'Alsace-Lorraine.
The arrival of Primark in October 2018 increased traffic on rue d’Alsace-Lorraine. (© Actu Toulouse / Anthony Assémat)

Primark influence

The arrival of Primark in October 2018 contributed significantly to this growth. The low-cost Irish ready-to-wear brand, located at the end of rue de Rémusat, which joins rue d’Alsace-Lorraine on the side of Joan of Arc, is variously appreciated almost four years later. “The arrival of Primark changed everything … but in a bad way.” For me, it has reduced the value of the neighborhood and this rue d’Alsace party, ”says Caroline from the Superdry store. “Attendance is higher, but the public is different. The arrival of Primark equalized the occupation of the street, “notes this employee.


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