Motorists in Paris will soon be facing speed limits of 19mph, as authorities look to clamp down on road collisions and air pollution…
Speed Limits of Paris
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of driving through Paris, you’ll know just how challenging its roads can be; even for experienced drivers. They’re some of the most congested in the world. Which is why the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, has reduced 60% of local speed limits to 30kph (19mph). By the end of August, only the Boulevard Périphérique ring road, and key routes such as the Champs-Elysées, will possess higher limits.
The limits are being reduced for a number of reasons. They include reducing air pollution and fighting climate change, reducing road collisions and making roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Radical plans are in place to reduce the number of parking spaces in the city from 140,000 to 60,000; necessarily compelling more people to walk, cycle and make use of public transport options.
Other transport plans in Paris are even more far-reaching and radical. At least four arrondissements in the centre of the city will be effectively pedestrianised; with only public transport-related vehicles being permitted to enter, alongside pedestrians and cyclists. Mayor Hidalgo wants to transform Paris into a “15 minute city”. This means that most people will be able to access work and public services from their homes within 15 minutes; effectively eliminating car dependency.
The changes have been met with some hostility from Parisians – many of whom believe the measures will actually make traffic conditions worse. That said, congestion is already so bad that drivers in the city are lucky to exceed 9mph. That’s especially the case when driving through the centre of the city, which is notorious for complete standstills. Perhaps the real anger is a product of people who, regardless of the circumstances, simply prefer using their own car to the alterantives?
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