Fifty years, almost to the day, after its first commissioning, the Paris ring road is about to undergo a minor revolution. From the end of 2024, according to the schedule devised by the City, i.e. the day after the Olympic Games (JO), motorists will no longer be able to drive on the thirty-five kilometers of motorway that surrounds the capital as they see fit: in the continuation of the lane dedicated to athletes during the competition, the left-hand lanes, one in each direction, will now be reserved for public transport, taxis and carpooling.
However, some terms still need to be clarified. Who else could be authorized to travel on this axis, when should the authorized speed be lowered to 50 km/h, how can carpooling be encouraged? It is to all these questions that Parisians, but also non-Parisians, are invited to answer online from April 17 until May 28. And some mentioned them at the meeting organized on Monday evening – in the village hall of the town hall, and remotely – to launch this new debate.
“It’s the death of hybrid bikes [véhicule de transport avec chauffeur] in Paris “, reacted immediately, Arnaud Desdonner, the general secretary of the Association of VTC of France, after the presentation of the main lines of the project. “As usual, motorized two-wheelers are the forgotten ones”, chained behind him, Jean-Marc Belotti, the coordinator of the Federation of angry bikers, who came with some of his supporters, scattered in the room. Elected officials from Neuilly (Hauts-de-Seine) or Saint-Mandé (Val-de-Marne) have also voiced the fears of neighboring towns.
This path aims first “to reduce pollution by reducing car traffic. It’s a major public health issue.” repeated Emmanuel Grégoire, the first deputy of the socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
“500,000 people live near the ring road and are affected by air pollution and noise pollution”insisted David Belliard, the assistant ecologist in charge of mobility and transport, who puts forward a use “more virtuous, more ecological, and more economical too” : “As far as VTCs are concerned, they can use the track if they are loaded. The question is only whether they are empty. »
The Olympics serve as a powerful accelerator
The track project is not new. It extends the long-standing work undertaken by the City of Paris, the neighboring municipalities, the metropolis and the Ile-de-France region on the transformation of the ring road and the future of the Ile-de-France motorways. The Olympics serve as a powerful accelerator. “This project is absolutely major for the future of the metropolis, and constitutes a central element of the legacy of the Olympic Games”, adds Emmanuel Grégoire.
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