Paris slows down to 30 kph
Following in the footsteps of many other cities in and out of France, such as Brussels, Paris introduces a citywide speed limit of 30 kph.
Paris’ alderman for Transport, David Belliard (Europe Ecologie les Verts), who announced it a while ago, now details that the Maréchaux Boulevard, part of the Seine’s banks, the Bois de Boulogne and Vincennes avenues, and the Champs-Élysées will remain at 50 kph.
“Lowering the speed to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, to reduce noise, and to calm our neighborhoods. A measure in line with the transformation of Paris that we are carrying out,” wrote David Belliard on Twitter this Friday.
Citywide 30 kph limit
Today, Paris is lowering the speed limit on the majority of its roads to 30 kph. This isn’t much of a change, as 60% of them have already been limited to that speed for some time. However, as is the case for Brussels, not all streets will imply drivers to slow down, as major axes remain limited at 50 kph. Among them, the boulevard des Maréchaux, part of the Seine’s banks, the Bois de Boulogne and Vincennes avenues, and four major roads including the Champs-Élysées.
While the average speed in Paris doesn’t exceed 15 kph and that, according to the City, 59% of Parisians approve of this lower speed limit, the measure still faces backlash. Many question the usefulness of such a measure, as there are only five fixed-speed cameras in Paris intra muros. Others, such as the President of the federation for bikers, point out that using the climate argument is heresy.
More pollution at 30 kph?
A recent study published by the Cerema seems to support this above-mentioned claim. According to the Environment Study and Expertise Centre’s data, a car driving at 30 kph emits 18,9% more CO2 than 50 kph. However, this is only the case for an average speed, and cars in the city rarely drive that way, as city driving is more of a stop-and-go situation.
According to the Paris Climate Agency President, Fatoumata Koné, the Cerema study is not applicable as it only talks about average speed. Furthermore, she notes that the lower speed limit will significantly impact noise reduction, citing a drop of three decibels.
Paris versus suburbs
According to attorney Éric de Caumont, talking to Le Figaro, Paris aims at driving cars out of the city. However, the specialist in road traffic laws notes that this lower speed limit won’t affect the Parisians but the inhabitants of the suburbs, who need their cars to go to work. Indeed, the public transport service inside Paris is good, but entering the city without a car is a much more difficult affair.