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A front view of the Eiffel tower in Paris

Paris caps speed at 30 km per hour from today

Paris caps speed at 30 km per hour from today

In an attempt to improve traffic safety and decrease noise pollution

Starting from 30 August, Paris is limiting street traffic speed to 30 kilometres per hour. The motive behind the change is to reduce the number of road accidents and decrease the levels of noise pollution in the French capital.

The entire city, other than the ring road, the boulevards des Maréchaux and a few other axes, is included. The measure, however, is not unexpected, as most of the Parisian streets (60%, to be precise) were already part of a 30-km-per-hour zone.

Ideal objective faced with mixed feelings

Paris will certainly become a more quiet and calmer city – to the joy of pedestrians and the discontent of drivers. The solution follows a one-month public consultation that the City Hall conducted in the autumn of 2020, involving 5 736 people.

In the said consultation, 59% approved the speed reduction. However, it should be noted that the results are quite the contrast to those of the inhabitants of the larger Ile-de-France region, 61% of whom disapproved of the measure.

The respondents were mostly in agreement with the initial objectives of the policy change, namely – to improve security and limit noise pollution. In particular, almost half the respondents mentioned road safety as the main justification for their choice, while one quarter named noise pollution, according to city data.

The official website of Paris further points out that the speed reduction can limit road accidents with up to 25% and up to 40% for the serious and fatal accidents. Moreover, a reduction of speed by 20 kilometres per hour would halve the amount of noise produced. The data also suggests that lower speed will allow for better distribution of space between engine-driven and soft mobility forms, by allowing more space for the latter.

Here are the zones that remain outside of the 30-km limit:

The ring road (speed limited to 70 km/h) will not be affected, as well as the Boulevards des Maréchaux and the avenues in the Bois de Boulogne and Vincennes, the Champs-Elysées, the Avenue Foch, the Avenue de la Grande Armée, and Royale street) where the speed limit will remain 50 km / h.

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