The speed limit on the Paris Ring Road will drop from 70 to 50 km/hour. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced this during the presentation of the capital’s new 2024-2030 climate plan. Moreover, a lane on the ring road will be reserved only for taxis, public transport, and carpooling.
The new speed limit on the périphérique will take effect in September next year, after the Olympics. But according to the newspaper Le Parisien, the exact date is not quite fixed yet.
Answer to environmental challenges
The transformation of the Ring Road – one traffic lane will also be replaced by trees in 2030 – arrives to respond to the significant environmental challenges and is, in a certain way, also a legacy of the Olympics with the construction of the Olympic track, a lane reserved for officials and athletes, during this period. This lane will then be made permanent for carpooling and public transport, part of Hidalgo’s program during the last municipal campaign in 2020.
According to the city council, the average speed on the ring road is now 50 km/hour during the day, 30 to 45 km/hour during busy hours, and 60 km/hour at night. In other words, the measure will force motorists to slow down at night, even if the lanes are less crowded.
The proposal for the speed limit to 50 km/hour on the Paris Ring Road will now be examined by the Paris Council in December. It will then be put to a vote by the elected officials in 2024.
1,5 million cars per day
The Paris Ring Road is 35 km long. Every day, 1,5 million cars travel the road, making it one of the busiest streets in Europe. The speed limit was already reduced in 2014 from 80 to 70 km/hour.
Some 555 000 inhabitants, including 307 200 Parisians, live in a 500-meter strip on either side of the ring road, i.e., 8% of the population of the Greater Paris metropolis.
The city council estimates the number of Parisians overexposed to air pollution to be between 10 000 and 20 000. Following World Health Organization health recommendations would make it possible to prevent 1 500 premature deaths in Paris in this area of air quality alone.
More pedestrian zones
Paris has long been committed to greening and reducing cars in the city and on its busy ring road to reduce noise and air pollution. Since 2021, for instance, the speed limit allowed in Paris city has also been reduced to 30 km/hour, with a few exceptions. It also has a plan to make overweight cars pay more parking fees.
In its new Climate Plan, the city also announces the creation of a “pedestrian heart” in each of the twenty districts of the capital, as well as the installation of a “large-scale peaceful zone”, also called Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL) in the center of Paris.
Also, tourist coaches will soon be banned from driving in the center of Paris and this ZTL, where traffic will be reserved for pedestrians, bicycles, public transport, and specific categories of users, such as residents, traders, craftsmen, and people with low mobility.