“How about slowing down? What if we reclaim the city? What if we free up public space for the benefit of those who really need it? What if we put well-being in the center of Paris?” These are the questions that the Paris City Council has sent to the residents to promote their ‘ Central Paris ‘, a restricted traffic area in the center of Paris that includes the Saint-Germain neighborhood.
The City Council led by the socialist Anne Hidalgo aims to improve the quality of life in the historic center with “peaceful areas” in which traffic is limited , a project that could become a reality in 2022, according to Le Parisienne .
The first areas to be affected by traffic restrictions are those corresponding to the center of Paris and the part of the left bank located north of Boulevard Saint-Germain.
The City Council wants Parisians to make their own “an essential project in the evolution of their living environment,” reads the municipal website . To do this, it asks residents to define the limitations to road traffic, the categories of authorized vehicles and identify streets to which special attention should be paid.
The example of ‘Madrid Central’
The Gallic City Council describes its Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL) making mention of Central Madrid , which however has been disabled by the Supreme Court by default in its approval. “It is a tool used by several large European cities such as Madrid, Milan or Rome to reduce the flow of vehicles in the city center,” says Paris.
“This system allows the road to be reserved for pedestrians, bicycles, public transport and certain categories of users (residents, delivery men, artisans.” And it will not allow crossing the area without stopping there.
It is a movement thought “to recover the urban space dedicated to the automobile in favor of new, friendlier and less polluting uses “, describe its promoters. It seeks to rebalance public space for the benefit of pedestrians, cyclists and users of public transport, when almost 50% of public space is used by the car.
By reducing the volume of road traffic and the speed of vehicles, it will be “easier and safer to travel on foot and by bicycle.” This will make the city a friendlier and easier transit space for residents and merchants.
It also seeks to “offer more welcoming streets where residents of all ages can meet, chat and play safely for the little ones .”
The perimeter of the proposal
The proposed perimeter for the implementation of the Limited Traffic Zone includes the Center of Paris sector (districts 1 to 4), as well as the streets located north of Boulevard Saint-Germain in districts 5, 6 and 7. This amounts to about 14 square kilometers, or what is the same, is almost three times as large as Madrid Central (4.7 square km).
They influence from the City Council that adjustments can still be made to the perimeter after conversations with the Police Department , whose opinions are mandatory on the axes of the area.
The City Council has estimated that only 30% of drivers in Paris need to use the car for their trips (freight transport, complex journeys, lack of public transport solutions). For the remaining 70%, the car is above all a comfort, as they defend.
The proposal was launched on May 12, 24 hours later there are already some two hundred contributions and 194 participants on the project website. Parisians are asking for more parking spaces on the periphery of the affected area or even expanding the designated area, as read in the proposals.
Recently, a study on the effects of air pollution placed the French capital in fourth place among European cities where mortality from exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is the most important.