Paris town hall puts motorists in line. Since August 30, the speed has been limited to 30 kilometers per hour.

This decision affects almost all of the streets of the capital, with the exception of the ring road (70 km/h), certain major roads such as the boulevards des Maréchaux, two portions of the quays of the Seine, several roads in the Bois de Boulogne and Vincennes and, finally, a handful of arteries in western Paris (Champs-Elysées) and the 50th and XNUMXth arrondissements (XNUMX km/h).

For the rest, particularly for the Marais, this means a limit of 30 km/h everywhere.

This limitation makes 39% of Parisians cringe. And it hardly convinces. According to the ecological transition agency (Ademe), this measure is not necessarily effective in combating air pollution. A 2014 study indicates that “above 70 km/h, speed reductions have a rather positive effect on particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions. Below 70 km/h, this effect is rather negative.

In practice, the situation is more complex since it is necessary to take into account the effect of the speed limit on congestion. Going from 80 to 70 km/h of a congested road goes in the right direction for air quality, because it promotes traffic flow. However, an a posteriori evaluation would be necessary to carefully assess the real effects on air quality. »

The position of Paris town hall is obviously different. According to her, it is above all a question of promoting soft mobility (walking, cycling, public transport, scooters) and fighting against noise and air pollution.

To achieve this, we must reduce car use, even if the increasing number of electric or hybrid vehicles are silent and non-polluting.

For David Belliard, the deputy mayor in charge of Transport and Roads in the capital, “the change from 50 to 30 km/h will improve the safety of everyone in public spaces and will make it possible to reduce the number of serious accidents, noise pollution and adapting the city to climate change ».

Without excessive enthusiasm, the reduction to 30 km/h is, according to a survey commissioned by the city of Paris, welcomed positively by 59% of Parisians and 36% of Ile-de-France residents. No doubt because they have noticed for a long time that, as an old refrain said, “in Paris, on bikes, we overtake cars”.

At certain times, and on certain roads, the average speed is only 15 to 17 km/h!

Text: Katia Barillot

31.08.21

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