The city of Paris begins to adopt from this Monday (30) the speed limit of 30 km / h for almost all streets. In addition to reducing the likelihood of traffic accidents and vehicle noise, the main backdrop for the measure is climate change mitigation.
The limit was already in place for almost two-thirds of the streets in the French capital. With the extension to most roads, only a few roads now have an upper limit. The decision was taken by Mayor Anne Hidalgo in early July.
On French radio RFI, Deputy Mayor David Belliard, also in charge of Transport and Mobility, said the change aims to “adapt the city to climate change, by reducing the location of the car [na vida urbana]The trend is gaining weight in France, where around 200 cities have already chosen to reduce maximum speed on major roads.
Among the rare exceptions to the new limit in Paris are the avenue des Champs-Elysées, the most famous in the city, which continues with a limit of 50 km / h, and the Boulevard Périphérique, the Parisian ring road that now separates hui the city of the suburbs, at 70 km / h.
The Paris city hall projects mobility gains with the measure, which can encourage walking, cycling and public transport. Local authorities speak of an accident reduction of around 25%, reaching 40% in the case of serious and fatal accidents. They also calculate that noise pollution will be halved.
Those who exceed the 30 km / h limit can be fined and have two points removed from their driver’s license.
Before adopting the reduction, a public consultation was organized in the second half of last year, in which 5,736 French people participated, 63% of whom were Parisians. The survey showed that 31% are in favor of an overall speed limit of 30 km / h, while 19% are in favor of reducing the speed, but depending on the road.
Despite popular support suggested, the speed reduction has been criticized by the opposition and by certain categories, such as taxi drivers, who call Mayor Anne Hidalgo “anti-car”. When she was re-elected in 2020, she pledged to build a more inclusive city and to make every street in Paris bike friendly.
During her first term, Hidalgo, a socialist, enlarged bicycle lanes, facilitated access to e-bikes, offered free passes for children and a 50% reduction for students over 12 years old.
But, in the context of changes linked to mobility in France, the ghost of the movement of “yellow vests” persists, appeared in 2018 against a new tax on fuels and has deployed in broader claims that question the high cost. of life in the country.
The measure started on Monday is part of a greater ambition for Paris for 2024, when the capital will host the Olympics. The objective is that the edition prints a positive and historical image of the fight against climate change, by emphasizing three main pillars: the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, support for projects with a positive contribution climate and mobilization for the change implemented are long-standing. sustainable.
The new 30 km / h limit also comes in the wake of an ambitious package launched by the European Union in the second half of July. The project foresees, among other things, an increase in the use of clean energies – such as solar and wind energy -, incentives for the use of electric cars and a ban on the manufacture of combustion cars from 2035. .
There are also controversial proposals, such as additional fees for importing products made without respecting environmental rules and guidance to increase taxes on fuels such as diesel and gasoline.
The changes must be approved by Parliament and the European Council, which brings together heads of state or government, which will require agreements between the 27 member countries and with European industry.