PARIS — Parisians voted Sunday to muscle SUVs off the French capital’s streets by making them way more costly to park, the newest leg in a drive by Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo to make the host metropolis for this yr’s Olympic Video games greener and friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists.
Greater than 54% of the votes forged within the low-turnout election supported the measure to triple parking charges for big SUV drivers from out of city to 18 euros ($19.50) per hour within the metropolis’s middle, in keeping with French media studies. Solely 5.7% of the 1.3 million eligible voters forged ballots on the 39 voting stations across the metropolis, the newspaper Le Monde mentioned.
In get-out-the-vote posts on social media, Hidalgo argued that SUVs take up an excessive amount of house on slender Parisian streets, are too polluting and “threaten our well being and our planet,” and trigger extra site visitors accidents than smaller vehicles.
“The time has come to interrupt with this tendency for vehicles which can be all the time larger, taller, wider,” she mentioned. “You will have the ability to take again possession of our streets.”
The price for non-residents to park SUVs in Paris’ central districts, within the arrondissements numbered 1 by way of 11, would soar to 18 euros ($19.5) per hour for the primary two hours, in comparison with 6 euros per hour for smaller vehicles.
After that, parking would turn out to be more and more punitive. A six-hour stick with an SUV — sufficient, say, to absorb a present and a restaurant — would value a whopping 225 euros ($243), in comparison with 75 euros for smaller autos.
Away from the guts of the town, in Paris’ outer arrondissements numbered 12 by way of 20, an out-of-town SUV driver would pay 12 euros per hour for the primary two hours, progressively rising to 150 euros for six hours.
The mini-referendum was open to Parisians registered to vote. The query they had been requested was: “For or towards the creation of a particular price for the parking of heavy, cumbersome, polluting particular person vehicles?”
Cyreane Demur, a 20-year-old scholar, voted within the stylish eighth arrondissement that features that car-clogged Champs-Elysées boulevard and its chaotic site visitors circle across the monumental Arc de Triomphe.
Demur mentioned heavier vehicles make congestion “much more difficult” and that ”one should contemplate the ecology, the parking points.”
However Jadine L’Orlendu, a 75-year-old voter, mentioned SUVs “don’t disturb me, they don’t take extra space than different vehicles, the parking locations are marked, and folks ought to drive what they need to drive. It’s about freedom.”
The vote follows one other Metropolis Corridor session final yr on whether or not to ban for-hire electrical scooters. The 15,000 opinion-dividing mini-machines had been subsequently banished from Paris streets after practically 90% of the 103,000 voters rejected e-scooters.
In a rustic of car-lovers, dwelling to Renault, Citroen and Peugeot, Hidalgo has labored for years to make Paris much less car-friendly. Motor autos have been barred completely from some roads, most notably a River Seine embankment that was once a busy freeway. It’s turn out to be a central Paris haven for cyclists, runners, households and romantics since Hidalgo closed it to motor site visitors in 2016.
Extra bike lanes are being added for the July 26-Aug. 11 Olympics and Paralympic Video games that comply with.
However Metropolis Corridor says that as automobile site visitors has steadily decreased, down by half because the finish of the Nineties, SUVs are denting the progress and fouling the air with their outsize dimensions. Metropolis Corridor says that SUV collisions with pedestrians are twice as lethal than accidents involving smaller vehicles. It notes that two-thirds of Parisians now do not personal a automobile.
Metropolis Corridor’s proposed ramped-up parking costs would apply to standard or hybrid-engined SUVs from out of city that weigh 1.6 tons or extra and a pair of tons or extra in the event that they’re totally electrical.
Leicester reported from Le Pecq, France.