Hour X started at midnight on Monday 30 August 2021. Since that time, the entire municipal territory of Paris has become a single “zone 30”, With the speed limit for all vehicles reduced to 30 kilometers per hour. A choice strongly supported by the Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who in recent years has started a sort of “slow revolution” in the streets of the French capital.
The main objective, as explained by the deputy mayor and councilor for transport and mobility of Paris David Belliard, is to make the Ile de France “pedestrian friendly”. By reducing the speed limits on all Parisian roads (or almost), the junta led by Hidalgo aims to reduce the number of serious and fatal accidents caused by high speed and thus improve pedestrian safety. Furthermore, underlines Belliard in his interview with the French newspaper “Journal du Dimanche”, the creation of the new “zone 30” will also help to reduce the noise caused by city traffic.
The choice, as it was easy to imagine, gathered opposing and contrasting reactions. According to analysts, the most Parisians seem to like the decision of Mayor Anne Hidalgo, but not everyone is of the same opinion. The new speed limit, in fact, is frowned upon by those who live in the suburbs and outside the city center and, for work, are forced to reach the center of the French capital by car. For them, the 30kph limit could soon translate into more traffic, more traffic jams and more time spent in a car queue.
The categories of gods have lined up alongside them rider and gods taxi drivers. The former underline how their deliveries will suffer inevitable delays; the latter, on the other hand, point out that the longer time spent on the street will have inevitable effects on their rates and on the cost of individual journeys.
The foreseeable increase in traffic jams will not only affect the time that Parisian commuters will spend in the car (and their quality of life). Indeed, several experts report that today’s endothermic engines perform better at high speeds. The risk, therefore, is that “Paris zone 30” does increase CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, thus worsening the quality of the air breathed by the citizens of the French capital.