Anne Hidalgo’s eco-friendly plans for Paris: Speed limits, parking spaces and bikes

Anne Hidalgo's eco-friendly plans for Paris: Speed limits, parking spaces and bikes
Photo: AFP
Lowering speed limits, halving parking spaces and banning diesel cars - this is what Anne Hidalgo, who was set to be re-elected as Paris mayor has planned for the French capital.

Anne Hidalgo has published a joint manifesto for Paris with green leader David Belliard.

Mayor since 2014, Socialist candidate Hidalgo won the first round of local elections in March and has since formed a partnership with the Green party.

Initial result for the second round on June 28th suggested she had easily won a second mandate.

READ ALSO The (very complicated) rules for electing the mayor of Paris

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Anne Hidalgo of Parti Socialiste has made a pact with Green leader David Belliard. Photo: AFP

Her first term saw her bring in plenty of environmental measures such as expanding cycle lanes and closing routes to cars and the new Green-partnered manifesto unsurprisingly continues this focus.

Here's what she and Belliard want for the next six years in Paris.

30km/h speed limit throughout the city

They propose to limit the speed throughout the capital to 30km/h (or 18 miles per hour), with only certain major routes like the Champs-Élysées, Boulevard Sébastopol or Boulevards des Maréchaux exempt and allowed a 50km/h speed limit.

For those who have spent much time sitting in traffic in Paris 30km/h might seem like a distant dream, but it does happen and it happens enough to seriously contribute to air pollution and noise pollution, the manifesto argues. Cutting it will help both these problems, they say.

The ringroad would be transformed under the manifesto proposals. Photo: AFP

Extra limits on the périphérique

Again for many of the drivers on the city's famously traffic-choked ringroad 50km/h might seem like a pipe dream.

At present the speed limit on the périphérique is 70km/h, lowered from 80km/h in 2014 and Hidalgo and Belliard want to lower this again to 50 km/h.

They also want to introduce a lane reserved for shared transport (public transport and car-shares) and that's just for starters.

The manifesto states: “We will transform the four-lane ring road into a peaceful urban boulevard: we will start by creating a lane reserved for shared transport (buses, shuttles, taxis, car-pooling) to gradually reduce the number of traffic lanes, give more space to nature, and make it possible to cross on foot or by bike.

“The objective is clear: to gradually erase this frontier of another age.”

As well as being generally hair-raising to drive on, the périphérique creates major air pollution problems for those who live alongside it. In 2019 the French state lost a case brought by two women in live in the suburb of Saint-Ouen, arguing that air pollution from the road had caused their health problems.
 
No more diesel cars
 
Paris has already outlawed vehicles that have Crit'Air level 4 stickers, which generally go to older and heavily polluting models of diesel vehicle. However this manifesto goes further, with Hidalgo saying “no more diesel vehicles will be running in Paris by 2024”.
 
Halving parking spaces
 
Finding a parking space in Paris is already roughly equivalent to finding Shergar and the Holy Grail in the same afternoon, but it's set to become harder as on-street parking spaces are annexed for pedestrian space and cycle storage.
 
“Half of the parking spaces will be transformed in five years, in particular to enlarge the pavements,” the manifesto states.
 
Pedestrians/cyclists
 
Hidalgo's long-term plan has always been to transform Paris into a pedestrian and cyclist friendly city and improve the quality of the air in the city – one study suggests that the air pollution in Paris is so bad that living here is equivalent to smoking 183 cigarettes a year.
 
She has already brought in measures such as banning cars from the banks of the Seine and expanding cycleways and other projects such as pedestrianising the Champs-Elysées are in the pipeline.
 
There have also been some extra cycle routes introduced during lockdown in attempt to cut the crowds on public transport. The Rue de Rivoli, for example, is now car free.
 
Paris mayors are elected for six years, but many of the manifesto commitments target 2024 – the year Paris is due to host the Olympics.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Member comments

  1. I think this is great news. The city really needs to get a grip on the traffic; the drivers are dangerous and out of control. And the pollution is awful. The city needs to be shaped for the people who live in it; it’s such a beautiful place that is should by the noise and fumes

  2. this is sooo terrible. there is no study supporting that decreasing the speed limit from 50 to 30 decrease also emissions. cars will be longer in the street. take for example roads towards arc de triumph, they are so destroyed that riding a bike or scooter there is suicide.
    and I want to see how bicycle or pedestrian will march on peripherique. 😀 😀 instead of trying to make it easier for people to travel through the city, there will be limitations everywhere. she is incompetent to speed up the public transport times so she will increase travel time for everybody else. 🙁

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