Anne Hidalgo – mayor of the city of Paris, France – recently announced a ban on the majority of vehicular traffic crossing the city center in 2022. The ban has the aim of cutting pollution and noise and freeing up more space for trees, bike lanes, and pedestrian areas. The city council said the ban will create a “less polluted, greener, more peaceful, and safer city.”
The zone is made up of four central districts located within Paris’ innermost ring of boulevards – about 14 square kilometers (~ 5.4 square miles). The restrictions will permit motorized access for the zone’s residents (including hotel guests), people with disabilities, and for vehicles used for public transit, deliveries, or services. Driving across the city center without stopping will be illegal. The city states that would include about 55% of total traffic – more than 100,000 cars – passing through the zone on average per day. Vehicles entering this zone will be monitored by city officials, and non-residents and those entering without permit will be fined.
The city states that the zone is needed as the majority of the current traffic consists of vehicles making trips that could easily be carried out by public transport. It is estimated that 70% of current through-journeys in the zone need not be carried out by car.
The restricted traffic zone is another step in Hidalgo’s plan to reduce traffic in the city. Diesel cars have already been banned from within the city’s beltway, the Seine quayside has been pedestrianized, car access on many major streets has been reduced, and green areas and sidewalks expanded. A public consultation for the plan has also been launched.