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Paris mayor wants drivers in the slow lane

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (Inès Dieleman/ Wikimedia/ cc)

The new mayor of Paris is exploring a novel way to dissuade driving: slow traffic to a crawl. Eric Britton writes on the World Streets blog that Anne Hidalgo, the city’s newly elected mayor and first female leader, wants to restrict speeds to 30 km/hour (18.6 mph) on most roads. There would be exceptions for major thoroughfares.

Special “meeting zones” would give cyclists and pedestrians priority on roads, with auto speeds limited to 20 km/hour — or 12 mph. The goal of these initiatives is to reduce accidents and pollution levels and boost overall quality of life, Britton writes. Hidalgo hopes to build on steps the city already has taken to curb speeds and encourage walking.

Meanwhile, Feargus O’Sullivan reports in CityLab that a decision to ban cars from central Paris for one day in March was a success. Road traffic eased by 18 percent and various measures of air pollution were down from 6 percent to 30 percent, the article says. 

World Streets

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