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Paris to implement a ban on most cars in the city by 2024

Feb. 19, 2022
3 min read
Paris to implement a ban on most cars in the city by 2024
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Paris announced a ban on most cars driving through the city that will take effect in 2024 as part of an effort to reduce the perpetual traffic jams in the City of Lights.

The so-called "car-free zone" will prohibit motor vehicles driving through much of Paris' 1st to 4th arrondissements. These districts make up the area featuring many of the most popular Parisian landmarks, such as the Louvre. The goal isn't to completely eliminate cars. In fact, locals who have vehicles will still be able to drive and park in the area.

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The true objective is to eliminate transit traffic, vehicles that pass through the area without stopping. "We want destination traffic," said David Belliard, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of the transformation of public space and mobility. "For people who have something to do there: shopping, going to the doctor, to the restaurant, etc."

Travelers who visit Paris once the new rules take effect and want to rent a car shouldn't be too concerned as long as you plan to park and take in the "Paris-Centre Saint-Germaine peaceful zone," as officials call it, and participate in local activities.

Related: Air France reopens NY to Paris-Orly service in March

Aside from that, the area will be largely reserved for pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles used to assist handicapped people, car-sharing rides, taxis, emergency vehicles and public transit. The goal is to reduce traffic in the heart of Paris by at least half.

The traffic-free zone was supposed to be put into place sometime this year. However, it was delayed two years so the city could "extend the calendar for the benefit of legal robustness," explained Emmanuel Grégoire, the 1st deputy mayor of Paris. It will now take effect in 2024 before Paris hosts the Summer Olympics that year.

Eiffel Tower in Spring (Photo by Nikada/Getty Images)

Questions remain about how the city plans to enforce the new rules. Authorities do not plan to put physical barriers in place to restrict access to the area, such as retractable barricades, citing logistical difficulties. Officials say they will implement random checks, which could involve asking people to show proof, such as receipts, to prove they were driving in the area for a specific reason. A camera system will also be installed to allow for automated checks and to capture residents' license plates. Those caught breaking the rules will face fines.

Paris' traffic problem has persisted for years. Officials have tried to come up with various ways to reduce vehicle congestion, not just for traffic reasons, but over environmental concerns as well. In 2017, the city banned cars from driving along a two-mile stretch along the Seine River to reduce air pollution and create a more pedestrian-friendly corridor.

Featured image by AFP via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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