It’s a wonder more Germans aren’t run over in Paris, because in Germany these zebra stripes painted on the streets mean that pedestrians have the right of way, no matter what. When a German town or city installs traffic lights at an intersection it is required by law to remove the zebra stripes, so as not to send out contradictory signals.
But in most of the neighboring countries, such as Austria, Switzerland and France, these zebra stripes mean merely that pedestrians may cross here as long as there is no red light to stop them. Germans are understandably confused by this, and are often outraged when motorists fail to stop for them or even honk for them to get out of the way.
(And how is it in your country? What do the zebra stripes mean there?)
My photos in this post are from 2006. I revised the text in 2021.
See also: Speed limits in Paris.