Being an avid city explorer, and seeing the ingenious ways that some city authorities tackle pollution and promote greener living, I was intrigued to discover the recent policy adopted in Paris.
The French capital attempted to restrict the volume of motorists “into Paris”, by only allowing vehicles with a certain Vehicle Registration Number into the city. On the next day, vehicle drivers with the opposite Vehicle Registration Numbers would be allowed, and this simple and quirky process would cycle around each day.
Drivers with “odd numbered” vehicle registration numbers would be allowed access on one day, and on the next those with “even numbers” would enjoy the privilege. The aim being not only to reduce the number of motorists in the city, but also encourage “Parisians who couldn’t drive on that day” to use public transport, or perhaps rent a bicycle from one of the cycle stations dotted around the city. In addition, drivers behind the wheel of hybrid or electric cars were exempt from the ban, as were those “car pooling” 3 or more passengers.
With all the good intentions however, the trial appears to have only last a day or so. Parisian motorists did not welcome the trial with open arms, and city police handed out just under 4,000 tickets on the first day to those who ignored the ban. These fines totalled in the region of €80,000!
The bigger picture here is quite promising though, as Paris officials report on the the first day, vehicle congestion was down some 60%, with pollution levels lower than normal.
Having visited Paris numerous times in the last few years, I often marvel at how spacious and “wide open” the streets and walkways are, say compared to London. The Paris Metro is always “busy” with commuters, and the city bike rental scheme is very prevalent. It’s just a shame this new quirky policy has failed at such an early stage. Perhaps with some rethinking, the authorities can adopt a more “Parisian friendly” congestion scheme. For now, it’s business as usual for the French capital.
Have you ever seen any interesting anti-congestion or pollution schemes on your travels? Comment below! =)
If you’re visiting Paris this year, and want to enjoy a museum experience, rather than do what everyone does, and visit Le Louvre, take a walk across the road and visit the lesser known Musee d’Orsay, which houses works or Monet, interesting sculptures, and a nice gift shop.
It’s also more “open” inside, built within the old Gare d’Orsay train station, so the architecture inside is very cool! Also, after enjoying the Musee, nip back over the road to the huge and enjoyable Jardin des Tuileries for a picnic, and watch the world float by.
Thank you for reading! =)