Paris mayor’s attempt to curb traffic along Seine leaves some commuters fuming
Mayor Anne Hidalgo called move ‘historic’; opposition decried it as ‘autocratic’
By Michelle Gagnon, CBC News, Oct 01, 2016 – http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/paris-cars-gagnon-1.3786615
CBC reporter and producer Michelle Gagnon came to Paris to enquire about the Paris plan to retire parts of a city highway and turn it into a carless, truckless, busless urban walk, linger, bike and play way. Her article opens like this:
Chase scenes along the Seine river in Paris are classic. We’ve all seen them. Walled in on one side, a river on the other, perfectly perilous ground for Bond, Bourne and other lesser mortals.
“Delon and Belmondo starred in a few, too,” says Mourad Ladouari, bordering on wistful. Ladouari is a Paris taxi driver who likes to practise his English talking old French films with passengers. He’s congenial and even-tempered but not about the recent ruling closing the right bank highway to traffic.
Designed in the car age to provide a fast route through a city otherwise constrained by its ring road, the highway has cut through Paris’s downtown core since the 1960s.
But since 2002, segments of the road have been closed to traffic over the summer, when a beach-like promenade called Paris-Plages is erected.
Before making way for the beach this summer, an estimated 43,000 cars drove the quay highway daily.
“It’s only one o’clock now,” Ladouari says of our relatively smooth drive. “Cars that would have been down there are up at street level now. Come 3, 4, 5 pm, traffic is going to start backing up at Concorde. It’ll spill onto St-Germain on the left and through the Louvre to the right. Eventually, the whole city centre will be choked up.”
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For the full article, including an interview with Eric Britton World Streets’ founding editor, go to http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/paris-cars-gagnon-1.3786615
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About the author:
Michelle Gagnon is a producer for CBC News on assignment in Paris. She has covered domestic and international affairs, including the European economic crisis, the mass migration of refugees, and the Paris and Brussels attacks. Her Tweet address is @
For more about CBC News: http://www.cbc.radio-canada.ca/en/
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About the editor of World Streets:
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France
Bio: Britton is an American political scientist and sustainability activist who has lived and worked in Paris since 1969. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest book, "BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Your City" focuses on the subject of environment, equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions. A pre-publication edition of Better Choices is currently undergoing an international peer review during Sept.- Oct. 2017, with the goal of publication in English and Chinese editions by end-year. If you wish to participate drop a line to BetterChoices@ecoplan.org .