Rue Crémieux in Paris’ 12th arrondissement has become one of the city’s most popular destinations for Instagram influencers, thanks to its colorful array of facades. But residents have become fed up with the invading hordes and are asking the city to place gates at either end of the street to restrict access on the weekends.
According to a story by France Info, residents have formed an association and taken their complaints to their local representative to request help from the city. While sensitive to the issues involved in closing a public space, the residents note that other areas of the city have implemented similar restrictions.
While this dilemma might provoke some eye-rolling, the controversy speaks to Instagram’s growing might, borne along by legions of influencers obsessively searching for the perfect image. The platform itself has also become a critical tool in the travel and tourism industry.
The situation highlights the real-world consequences of some of these platforms and how local communities are struggling to adapt. Whether it’s ride-sharing services like Uber or booking sites like Airbnb, cities like Paris have been taxed with striking a balance between protecting residents and embracing disruptive services that facilitate economically important tourism.
Meanwhile, the residents of Rue Crémieux have run out of patience. And not without cause. According to France Info, Twitter turns up more than 30,000 images if you search under the street’s name.
Residents say that during the week the number of snap-happy tourists isn’t so bad. It’s on the weekend that the mobs descend in full force. And lest you think they are being overly sensitive, check out the Instagram account that one resident made to mock the influencer crowd.
Here’s what life looks like on a typical weekend along Rue Crémieux:
(Translation: Cassandra’s parents have long since abandoned the idea of explaining to her how a doorbell works.)
(When you have poorly chosen the day for shooting the spring fashion collection.)
(Josiane had never learned, to her great regret, how to bend her knees.)
Getting the streets closed is probably a long shot. But with overtourism becoming a hot topic in the travel industry and in communities around the world, don’t be surprised if more neighborhoods and cities start contemplating ways to slow the flood of visitors.