SUV in Paris: the town hall submits to a vote the tripling of parking rates

Mayor Anne Hidalgo will propose a tripling of parking rates for tall and heavy cars called SUVs, during the vote organized on February 4 (AFP/Archives/DOMINIQUE FAGET)

Up to 18 euros per hour in central Paris; Mayor Anne Hidalgo will propose a tripling of parking rates for tall and heavy cars called SUVs, during the vote organized on February 4.

“I do not have the right to ban these cars but I can act to limit their presence,” she said at a press conference on Friday to explain the proposal made to Parisians during this vote.

The question asked of Parisians registered on the electoral lists will therefore be: “for or against the creation of a specific rate for the parking of heavy, bulky and polluting individual cars?”

If the “for” side wins, the “special rate for large vehicles” grouped under the acronym SUV (for “sport utility vehicle”, leisure all-terrain vehicle) will be 18 euros per hour for the central districts (from 1st to 11th) and 12 euros for the outer districts (from the 12th to the 20th), said his mobility assistant David Belliard (EELV).

In its proposal, the town hall set the weight thresholds to apply these prices at “1.6 tonnes for thermal and hybrid vehicles” and “2 tonnes for electric vehicles”, which are still “polluting with their system of braking and tires,” said Anne Hidalgo.

This measure should therefore not concern all SUVs: the best-selling models on the market, such as the Peugeot 2008 and 3008, the Renault Captur or the Dacia Duster mostly fall below the 1.6 tonne mark, depending on the version.

On the other hand, large SUVs like certain Volkswagen Tiguans, Ford Kuga, Renault Espace or Range Rovers should pay more to park on the surface.

If the “for” side wins, Parisian residents, so-called sedentary professionals and taxi drivers in their dedicated zones, craftsmen and people with reduced mobility will not be affected by the new measure, said Ms. Hidalgo.

Likewise, parking will remain free for SUVs and other vehicles in the evening after 8:00 p.m. – until 9:00 a.m. the next day – and on Sundays, she said.

– 10% of the park –

The town hall’s initiative “aims to accelerate this ecological transition in which we tackle air pollution” because “the bigger it is, the more it pollutes”, said the elected socialist about SUVs.

In addition to this health issue, “limiting the presence” of SUVs aims to improve “road safety, because the bigger it is, the greater the risk of accident,” explained Ms. Hidalgo.

The “third reason” put forward is to “better share public space”.

Mr. Belliard highlights a “social justice tool, because the most expensive, the most luxurious vehicles are occupied by the wealthiest people”.

The City emphasizes that “the average size and weight of vehicles have continued to increase due to the exponential development of SUVs” which according to it “now represent 40% of sales”.

According to Mr. Belliard, thermal and hybrid cars weighing more than 1.6 tonnes represent “approximately 10% of the automobile fleet” used in the capital.

On a constant basis, out of around 70,000 car parking tickets generated each day, 7,000 SUVs would therefore be affected, he told AFP.

According to Ms. Hidalgo, these price increases could bring additional revenue of 35 million euros to the City.

Voting will take place in 36 voting locations, without proxy or electronic voting, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

In a non-binding vote, the Paris Council had already adopted in June the idea, put forward by environmentalists, of increasing parking prices for SUVs.

When Ms. Hidalgo announced the vote in mid-November, her right-wing opposition denounced a “delaying tactic” to create a “diversion” after her controversial trip to Tahiti.

This vote will be the second organized by the town hall after that on self-service electric scooters, in April.

This first brought together just over 100,000 voters, or 7.46% of those registered, who overwhelmingly rejected (89.03%) this mode of transport.

He has since disappeared from the streets of Paris.

© 2023 AFP

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