Paris postpones car ban — Analysis

The French capital’s plan to ameliorate pollution has been delayed by two years

Paris has extended its ban on private cars from central Paris by two years. This is to reduce congestion and increase air quality in the run-up to the 2024 Olympics. The deadline change was announced by Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Thursday. She stated that more time was required to make the changes.

Yellow Vests protest in Paris against government policies

While Parisians will still be allowed to drive into the city center for shopping and recreation, the ban aims to quash through-traffic, which “About 50 percent traffic is from this area.,” according to Deputy Mayor David Belliard. 

The car-free area is supposed to encompass the city’s first four arrondissements north of the Seine, including two islands in the river, plus a hefty chunk of the Left Bank and Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhoods comprising the fifth, sixth, and seventh arrondissements. The area, dubbed the “tranquil zone,” will be blocked off to all but area residents, taxis, and “Professionals.” The city plans to enforce the new measure by conducting random spot checks at the tranquil zone’s exit points.

Paris is set to host the Summer Olympics in 2024, providing a hard deadline for Hidalgo’s administration to accomplish the ambitious project. Thursday’s announcement marked the second time this month the city has been forced to delay a green transit-related initiative – a ban on older vehicles initially set to take effect in July was recently pushed to next year. The ban would remove 1.2million cars from the streets, and include any gasoline-powered vehicle manufactured before 2006 or diesel-powered car made prior to 2011.

The public reaction to through traffic ban is mixed. 24% of those polled supported the plan, while 22% opposed it. 38% raised concerns about traffic jams and difficulty getting to the center of the city from the suburbs.

Hidalgo, who is running for president on the socialist ticket, has installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes and banned cars from the highways bordering the Seine in an effort to transform Paris into a leading “Cycling city.

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