The implementation of the “limited traffic zone" (ZTL) in Paris has been postponed until 2024, in time for the launch of the 2024 summer Olympic Games in the French capital, the municipality announced on 17 February 2022.
The plans for a ZTL were announced by Paris’ mayor Anne Hidalgo in May 2021. It was initially planned for spring 2022 and is considered one of the flagship projects of the city administration. Postponing the introduction will give the city administration more time to work on the details of the zone, as well as to go through the official consultation process and make adjustments to the plan where needed. This includes discussing the plans with Paris police headquarters who have expressed “strong reservations”.
The announcement was made in a press conference by Emmanuel Grégoire, the First Deputy Mayor of Paris. Grégoire also revealed that the ZTL has been renamed the “Paris-Centre-Saint-Germain Peaceful Zone”, although its objectives and the area that it will cover remain unchanged.
The Peaceful Zone will see through traffic restricted in the heart of Paris within a zone 'Paris Centre' (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements) and the part of the left bank located north of Boulevard Saint-Germain (5th, 6th and 7th arrondissements).
According to David Belliard, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the transformation of public space, transport, mobility, street code and roads, some 50% of the 350,000 to 550,000 motorised journeys in Paris Centre are through traffic. Of these, Belliard noted that it is estimated that only 30% absolutely need their car. e.g. as a result of a lack of public transport alternative. For the remaining 70%, the car was considered a convenience.
By prohibiting this through traffic, the city wants to reduce air pollution, noise and other nuisances caused by car traffic. By reducing traffic, the city will be able to rebalance public space for the benefit of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users in this part of Paris, according to Grégoire. By reducing the speed and sheer volume of motorised traffic in the area they aim to provide more welcoming streets for pedestrian and cyclists and facilitate the movement of local residents, traders and public services.
The ban will not affect local residents, traders, people with reduced mobility, employees or people "going to the theatre”, nor emergency vehicles, buses, bicycles, taxis, ride hailing services or car-sharing vehicles. Motorcycles and scooters will be accepted on the same principle: they will have to have "something to do in the area" to be able drive in the area, said Belliard. In addition, the acceptance of ride hailing services within the “Peaceful Zone” will be conditional on a “commitment of the profession to the greening of the fleet”.
The enforcement of the Zone will be based on random checks at the zone’s exits. Drivers will have to prove that they are exempt from the restrictions. The checks will be carried out by the municipal police initially, while technological solutions for enforcement are further explored.
Original article published by C-News on 17 February 2022.
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