• France's news in English
Paris: New plan to hand centre to pedestrians
Imagine the centre of Paris without any cars. It may happen. Photo: AFP

Paris: New plan to hand centre to pedestrians

AFP · 8 Dec 2014, 08:33

Published: 08 Dec 2014 08:33 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"In the four central districts, apart from bikes, buses and taxis, the only vehicles allowed will be residents' cars, delivery vehicles and emergency vehicles," Anne Hidalgo said in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche weekly.

Hidalgo said the proposed anti-pollution scheme would start at weekends but could be "quickly" rolled out for the rest of the week.

"I want diesel cars out of Paris by 2020 and if possible beyond the peripherique," said the mayor, referring to the constantly choked ring road around the capital.

"Today, 60 percent of Parisians don't have their own car whereas in 2011, it was 40 percent. It's moving quickly," she said.

Central Paris has a relatively high population density in European terms and tourists are often surprised by the traffic levels in and around the historic sights of the world's most visited city.

The city also experiences periodic pollution spikes forcing authorities to impose temporary speed limits on motorists and even to ban vehicles from running on certain days.

Hidalgo said she wanted to limit the traffic on some of the most polluted streets -- like the iconic but traffic clogged Champs-Elysees -- to "clean vehicles".

As an "experimental" measure, she suggested allowing only ultra-low emitting cars on these major thoroughfares.

She also intends to extend zones where the speed limit is fixed at 30 kilometres (18 miles) an hour so that it becomes "the norm in Paris".

"Driving at 50 kilometres per hour on the main arterial roads would become the exception," she said.

And in a bid to get people out of cars and on to bikes, the mayor said the amount of cycle lanes would be doubled by 2020 as part of a 100-million-euro bike development plan.

She said she also wanted to roll out a system of electric-powered bikes along the same lines as the city's popular velib temporary bike hire network.

Story continues below…

The plan will be discussed in the town hall on February 9.

Top city transport official Christophe Najdovski said last month that there would be restrictions on the most polluting cars in central Paris from the middle of 2015.

During the last spike in pollution, in December 2013, the air quality was so bad, it was equivalent to heavy passive smoking, according to an expert report.

At that time, Paris authorities ordered half the cars off the road and introduced free public transport.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

Millionaire Riviera hotel boss kidnapped in broad daylight
The city of Nice where the millionaire was bundled into a car infront of shocked onlookers. Photo: AFP

The millionaire head of a luxury hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes was kidnapped in Nice in front of shocked onlookers in the middle of the day on Monday.

Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available