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Catch-22 for car-crazy Parisian drivers who also want less traffic

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Catch-22 for car-crazy Parisian drivers who additionally need much less visitors

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Whereas automobiles and scooters shall be banned in Paris for this Sunday’s “Journée Sans Voitures”, the very subsequent day a staggering 47 p.c of oldsters will get behind the wheel to ferry their youngsters to the area’s faculties.

The position of the mighty automotive in French society has develop into the topic of simmering – and reasonably paradoxical – debate, it appears, as metropolis folks more and more assist measures to restrict visitors, whereas on the similar time favouring their four-wheelers for college drop offs through the virus disaster.

A recent Ifop study confirmed that whereas bike and scooter use has taken off since lockdown measures had been eased and faculties reopened in Might and June respectively, the automotive stays the #1 means of college transportation – particularly in Paris.

Carried out between 25 August and 1 September, the examine reported 26 million faculty journeys all through France every day. Of these, 13 million youngsters and workers travelled by automotive.

Whereas well being specialists in France say youngsters will not be sometimes transmitters of Covid-19, greater than half of motorist mother and father – 58 p.c – stated they had been nervous about potential contamination of their youngsters both on the streets or on public transport.

Different worries involved security and fears youngsters could possibly be victims of highway accidents or aggression, whereas many mother and father stated it was the prohibitive value of public transport that drove them to take the automotive. 

Regardless of good climate over the survey interval, nationwide the automotive accounted for 30 p.c of college journeys, in contrast with simply 2 p.c for bicycles. Strolling got here in second, comprising 25 p.c of journeys – primarily in denser city centres the place faculties had been nearer to houses.

Automobile-pooling, motorised two-wheelers and electrical scooters had been all on the fringes, every accounting for simply 1 p.c of journeys to high school.

Driving change

These numbers apart, squeezing automobiles out of cities is a coverage that additionally has widespread assist from French individuals fed up with visitors jams and desperate to rein in air pollution that generally reaches harmful ranges.

This week a separate Ifop poll found that two-thirds of residents within the 40 French cities with populations higher than 100,000 need congestion-free streets which might be extra pleasant to pedestrians and cyclists. 

Parisians will get to expertise that on Sunday, 27 September, when the sixth annual Car-Free Day takes place, permitting solely buses, taxis and emergency autos onto the streets. Even then, they’re solely permitted to creep alongside at 30km/h.

Residents returning house from outdoors town limits should current proof of handle, the Paris Metropolis Corridor stated in an announcement, including that reductions of as much as 40 p.c shall be provided for parking heaps.

Anybody flouting the no-car guidelines dangers a superb of 135 euros. 

Because of the initiative, the mayor’s workplace says Paris shall be a “quieter, extra vigorous and extra breathable metropolis”. 

No less than for a day.


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