After completing a major project in Paris, underground utility worker Mehdi Dabi is, unsurprisingly, having a bit of fun.
Dabi pulled up to a pedestrian underpass with a small sign affixed to his car: “We do not promise to keep the pedestrian path open.” A kindly signboard adds, “The whole sidewalk does not want to have anyone walk on it.” When passersby look up from their smartphones, a message pops up: “The underpass is closed for the weekend! Join us on Twitter at.”
His prank was picked up on Twitter and Reddit over the weekend and quickly became an international hit.
Today, Twitter user Lucky Nazar claims he caught a scooter rider taking up Dabi’s green-and-yellow sidewalk and calling it his own.
“He tried to board our Volkswagen Bike,” Nazar tweeted. “I said ‘let’s give him a chance. No one ever walks on a sidewalk.'”
“But he wouldn’t take it, and said ‘that’s my sidewalk.’ See? Even highways are not safe!”
Nazar, an Iranian refugee living in Toronto, also posted a video of Dabi on the meandering sidewalk.
It’s unclear whether Dabi and his stunt double were licensed to stand on public sidewalks in Paris. However, those in France may be particularly susceptible to these sidewalk bumps and corners. Nationwide, 43% of bike lanes end abruptly.
Additionally, sidewalks stop for buses, emergency vehicles, seagulls, burros, bikers and runners as they approach the end of a street or slope. In order to save space, some streets merge sidewalks with parking lanes and street curbs.
Dabi posted photos of his peculiar sidewalk, which ends in front of a burger restaurant, on Twitter. Some users voiced concerns that the closure might not be safe for anyone waiting in line for their fries.
The sidewalk has attracted local and international criticism.
Back in Paris, Dabi told Mashable that he’d gotten into trouble for parking his car in front of the sidewalk back in 2013.
“I even received a minor ticket, but all I did was park there and take photos,” he said. “The pedestrian path gives the impression that they just took it to get their fill of hashish, right on the sidewalk.”
Other users also lamented the inconvenience that the plot of land for the sidewalk was “sitting in bad condition” until recently.