A poster inviting people to vote in the SUV referendum, Source: City of Paris/ Josephine Brueder

Parisians said 'yes' to tripling SUV parking fees

Parisians said 'yes' to tripling SUV parking fees

These will reach 18 euros per hour in the central districts

Yesterday, Parisians headed to the polls to cast their vote in a municipal referendum that asked them to decide whether to raise the parking rates for SUVs and 54.55% confirmed that this should happen indeed, going forward.

The specific question was: “For or against the creation of a specific rate for the parking of heavy, bulky, polluting individual cars?”

Of the 1,374,532 people registered on the Parisian electoral lists, 78,121 voters took part in the vote, which was organized in 222 polling stations.

What will change for SUVs in Paris?

Now that the die has been cast, the local policymakers will implement the will of the city residents on 1 September when the visitor parking rates for large private vehicles will triple.

This means that in Arrondissements 1-11, the hourly parking rate will jump from 6 to 18 euros, and in Arrondissements 12-20 it will surge from 4 to 12 euros per hour.

The dizzying prices will apply to visitor drivers whose SUVs exceed the specified weight standards: for fuel and plug-in vehicles, it’s above 1.6 tonnes, and for electric vehicles – over 2 tonnes. The new rates will not apply to residents of the districts, taxi drivers in their dedicated stations, health professionals and disabled drivers.

The proposed restriction was motivated by statistics that showed that while the presence of cars has been decreasing in Paris over the past decade, this has been offset by an increase in the sizes of private vehicles. On average, private cars today weigh 250 kilos more than they did in 1990.

The result of this is that cars still take up a lot of the fixed urban space even if their absolute numbers are decreasing. Plus, larger vehicles are less safe on the road as they are more deadly in the case of accidents. SUVs powered by fossil fuels are also more polluting for the environment.

The increase in the parking rates is thus a direct step to discourage the use of these vehicles in the French capital and to shrink their numbers.



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