Paris votes to triple parking fees for incoming SUVs

Over 54% of Parisians voted in a referendum to support a proposal by Mayor Anne Hidalgo to triple the parking fee for SUVs, including hybrid and electric cars weighing more than 1,6 and 2 tons, respectively. The vote managed to mobilize only 5,68% of voters or 78,000 Parisians.

Under the plan, parking fees for visitors with an SUV will rise to 18 euros an hour in the city center. In the suburbs, SUV drivers will have to pay 12 euros. The rule does not apply to Paris residents, people working in the capital, and people with disabilities.

From 1 September

“The bigger, the more pollution,” the socialist mayor justified in early December the proposal on which some 1,3 million Parisians had the chance to have their say.

The deliberation will now be presented in May for application on 1 September, said Hidalgo when the results were announced yesterday at City Hall, hailing a “clear choice by Parisians” in favor of a measure that is “good for our health and good for the planet.”

“Form of punitive ecology”

The increased fee is meant to reduce the nuisance caused by SUVs. According to the city, which has already pedestrianized the quays of the Seine and planted 200 streets with vegetation, the increased number of large cars in Paris leads to pollution, safety risks, and an unfair distribution of public space.

According to the Paris city authorities, accidents involving SUVs are twice as deadly for pedestrians as ordinary cars. Another recent report by NGO Transport & Environment showed that vehicles of all categories have gradually become wider, longer, and heavier in recent years.

French Ecological Transition Minister Christophe Béchu called the Paris initiative a form of punitive ecology “even as we need to move to lighter vehicles.” Several motoring associations also critiqued the City Hall initiative, recalling that SUV, which stands for Sport Utility Vehicle, is a marketing name that means nothing.

€35 million additional revenue

Parisians have spoken out about mobility in their city for the second time in short order. Last September, shared e-scooters already disappeared from the streets following a contested referendum – with a turnout of 7,46%, or 103 000 Parisians. Almost 90% of registered voters voted in favor of a ban.

According to the City Hall, the surcharge would affect “around 10% of the car Parc” and could bring in around 35 million euros in additional revenue.

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