Central Paris could be almost car free by 2022

As part of its strategy to reduce traffic in the French capital, the Paris city council has announced plans to introduce a 'low traffic zone' in the centre of the city by 2022. A consultation with residents was launched on Wednesday.

Central Paris could be almost car free by 2022
The Paris City Council is planning on implementing a low traffic zone in the centre of the city that will drastically reduce car traffic. Photo: Christophe ARCHAMBAULT/AFP

The Paris city council is launching a consultation with residents about implementing a low traffic zone or zone apeisée in the centre of the city – a measure that already exists in other European and French cities like Lille and Nantes.

The objective is to drastically reduce traffic in an area comprising the city’s four central arrondissements and part of the 5th, 6th and 7th, by 2022.

This would mean that only “residents, buses, taxis but also artisans, professionals and delivery trucks will be allowed to circulate in this perimeter,” Paris’s deputy mayor David Belliard told Le Parisien newspaper. However, the exact details of who will be allowed to enter the low traffic zone are still to be defined during the consultation. Parisians can participate by answering a questionnaire on the city’s website.

The objective is to “give priority and safety to pedestrians and cyclists, reduce pollution and noise,” Belliard said, adding that the reduction of traffic on the Rue de Rivoli, one of Paris’s main commercial streets which now has been turned into a multi-lane biking highway, “led to a reduction of 2,2 decibels.”

The creation of a low traffic zone fits into Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s broader strategy to reduce air pollution and make Paris a leading cycling capital. It’s also aligned with efforts to reduce the amount of car traffic around schools.

READ ALSO: “It’s not yet Amsterdam”: What Paris must do to be a world leading cycling capital

When the first 3-month coronavirus lockdown ended a year ago, Paris city officials created 50 kilometers of coronapistes (coronavirus cycle lanes). The move was initially temporary, but Mayor Anne Hidalgo later announced she would make them permanent in the autumn.

Member comments

  1. They should be really progressive. Close the peripherique and ban cars (including residents, except electric disabled vehicles) within the peripherique. The peripherieque itself should be a bicycle lane, green walkway and tram route. Improved (free) car parks at RER stations outside the ring, especially at terminals

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Swiss rider dies after fall into ravine on Tour of Switzerland

Swiss rider Gino Maeder has died from the injuries he sustained when he plunged into a ravine during a stage of the Tour of Switzerland, his team Bahrain-Victorious said on Friday.

Swiss rider dies after fall into ravine on Tour of Switzerland

Maeder, 26, fell during a high-speed descent on the fifth stage between Fiesch and La Punt on Thursday, after an exhausting day marked by three ascents over 2,000 metres altitude.

He had been found “lifeless in the water” of a ravine below the road, “immediately resuscitated then transported to the hospital in Chur by air”, organisers said.

But the next day, “Gino lost his battle to recover from the serious injuries he sustained,” Bahrain-Victorious said in a statement.

“It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we must announce the passing of Gino Mäder,” his team wrote in a statement.

“On Friday June 16th, following a very serious fall during the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse, Gino lost his fight to recover from the serious injuries he had suffered. Our entire team is devastated by this tragic accident, and our thoughts and prayers are with Gino’s family and loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.”

“Despite the best efforts of the phenomenal staff at Chur hospital, Gino couldn’t make it through this, his final and biggest challenge, and at 11:30am we said goodbye to one of the shining lights of our team,” the team said in a statement.

Maeder had enjoyed a strong start to the season, finishing fifth in the Paris-Nice race.

American rider Magnus Sheffield also fell on the same descent from Albula, during the most difficult stage of the race with multiple climbs. The Ineos-Grenadiers rider was hospitalised with “bruises and concussion,” organisers said.

On Thursday, world champion Remco Evenepoel criticised the decision to compete on such a dangerous road.

“While a summit finish would have been perfectly possible, it wasn’t a good decision to let us finish down this dangerous descent,” the Belgian wrote on Twitter.

“As riders, we should also think about the risks we take going down a mountain.”