With 10.5 million trips every day, transportation is one of the key issues for Parisian voters. Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has thrown his weight behind a policy focused on keeping cars at bay.
For the last seven years, Bertrand Delanoë, socialist candidate in 2008 for a second term as mayor of
As soon as he came into office, Delanoë, supported by the ecological party Les Verts, took a firm stance against the traffic jams, public nuisance and pollution that have always characterised
But these radical changes did not pass without criticism. “One does not transform a city in the wink of an eye”, says Francis Beaucire, Director of the Urban Development department at the high-profile political institute Sciences-Po. Beaucire deplores, in particular, the “inertia surrounding the decisions taken, their implementation and effects.”
Delanöe, in any case, has always defended his objectives. “I am not a hostage – neither of extremist ecological tendencies, nor of the conservative ideas that the majority hold,” he insisted in 2006 in an interview.
Since 2001 the physionomy of
In 2008, roads in
- 188km of bus lanes, some of which occupy the central part of a road.
- 380 km of bicycle lanes
- 33 “green neighborhoods” with pedestrian lanes where vehicle speed is limited at 30 km/h
- Zero free parking
Statistics from the
As pointed out by Mikoko Kombi, a Parisian taxi driver: “Overall, the measures have had positive effects. I see it in my daily work.”
But these measures did not go without their fair share of rebuke. “Even if adjustments are necessary, Delanoë targeted his policies to help only pedestrians and residents. This is something which remains widely, and unjustly, unknown,” says Beaucire.
However Bertrand Delanöe's political and urban success has not really taken away all of
Bicycles for Parisian residents are not enough to resolve the issue, and Mr Delanoe’s task of rehabilitating Parisian roads is far from finished.
Date created : 2008-02-14