In numbers: How Paris is getting rid of cars

As an outspoken environmentalist, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is either loved or despised for the measures she takes to make the city more pedestrian and cyclist friendly. While the capital still has a long way to go, here is a closer look at its car situation in numbers.

In numbers: How Paris is getting rid of cars
All photos: AFP


By 2020, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo plans on having 1,400 kilometers of bicycle lanes across the city, twice as more as in 2015. One of the longest construction work on the 3 kilometers-long rue de Rivoli started back in 2017 and should end by September 2019. 
This is the number of town hall-led construction sites at the moment. Seven major Paris' squares are in the process of being pedestrianised, including Place de la Madeleine and Place du Panthéon. While Parisians complain about the mayhem, Deputy Mayor Christophe Najdovski gladly takes on the critics. ''21st century Paris will not look like the 20th century: it will not be marked by the all-pervasiveness of cars,” he said.
In average, a car goes up to 15 km/h in Paris, only three times quicker than the average pedestrian.
On twelve days each year, arrondissements 1,2,3 and 4 (the ones in the centre of the city) are pedestrianised as part of the operation ''Paris respire'' – Paris breathes. Every first Sunday of the month, cars and any types of motorised vehicle are banned in these areas, as well as on the Champs-Elysées.
Parisians enjoying a day without cars on the Champs-Elysées. Photo: AFP.
This is the average number of €35 fines given to motorcyclists per day in 2019 for driving on bicycles lanes. If the numbers sound high – they nearly quadrupled this year – it is because of new automatic cameras. Since October 2018, 20 officers use 900 cameras to spot scooters and motorbikes driving on bike and bus lanes.
By 2025, 68 new metro stations and four new lines should spring up in the outskirts of the capital. One of the aims of the Grand Paris Express project is to reduce the number of people driving their cars in or out of Paris from the suburbs to get to work. 
About 14 percent of residential parking spaces were removed between 2012 and 2019. These spaces were turned into 27,000 extra parking spots for bikes and motorbikes. Parisian households are less and less relying on cars, so this tendency should not be going downwards anytime soon.
According to a 2016 study by the Agence Santé Publique – Public Health Agency – about 2,500 Parisians die of causes related to air pollution every year. On a national level, this toll rises up to 48,000.

Member comments

  1. The statistic on air pollution deaths needs an explanation. Does Paris have the highest number of deaths? Where else in France are people dying at a greater rate than in Paris?

    If you take 48,000 minus 2,500, that leaves 45,500 deaths caused by air pollution for the rest of the country. Do Lyon, Clermont Ferrand, Bordeaux, Marseille, Toulouse, Lille, Strasburg, and other smaller cities account for the rest of the deaths?

    Try to be a bit more clear on what you mean with the numbers you quote.

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Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”