August 31, 2015

Imagine Paris without car traffic. They’re trying it.

paris cars bicycles close streets

The Day Without Cars

France will ban cars from the streets of Paris for one day next month, turning the city over to pedestrians and cyclists to experience the urban landscape free of traffic. (weburbanist.com)

car free paris

Pretty sure Bogota’s Ciclovia inspired nearly all of the cities being referenced here.


Not actually everywhere in the city. And only from 11am to 6pm. Source : http://www.paris.fr/actualites/le-27-septembre-journee-sans-voitures-2817

“It was done every year in Brussels… now it’s permanently pedestrianized and it’s just awesome!” Also Boulder, Pittsburgh, NYC…where else.

Also, we should take up the Idaho Stop, which is safer.

“This is really cool! I especially like the idea of being able to photograph, paint and partake in culture that normally cannot be in the streets. Also the thought of all the ambient sounds when there’s no cars…”

“Paris is actually much better on foot or on bike anyway. Their subway system is excellent too, you really don’t need a car for anything unless you need to travel outside of the city.”

“My girlfriend and I visited Paris recently. We did all the usual tourist stuff, but I think my favorite times were just cycling around the city on the Velibs.”

“Cycling in a city with no cars will completely change how it feels to cycle – no fear of being killed, no noise, much more relaxing. I’m guessing there won’t be a free city-bike all day.”

“You have to remember that most of Paris inhabitants, specially in the very center, don’t use a car. Most of them don’t even own one. This car-free day won’t affect them.

Most of the car users are from people living in the suburbs or outside the historical center, and most of them are only going in or through the center to work. This ‘car-free’ day won’t affect them too, since its during a week-end.

Paris historical center is year after year getting more unfriendly against cars. During the five last years the number of cars in Paris has been reduced by 20%. Old buses and trucks (of more that 15 years) are starting to get banned for the Paris. A lot of streets and avenues are being converted to foot and bike use. One of the biggest road crossing has been transformed to a plazza, and 5 more are supposed to follow in the next decade. The whole city is going to be limited to 30km/h (current limitation is 50km/h in most big streets) before 10 years. Also there is a massive investment in the number of bike ways (they are supposed to double in coverage soon), bikes can now turn right at red-lights and every 30km/h limited road has to become two way for bikes.

We arleady have a massively working bike-sharing system. A all-night long working bus public transportation in the center (4 am a saturday night? One bus every 5 minutes). And taxis and private chauffers everywhere (no more Uber though).

On top of this there is huge transportation project (ETA 20+ years) to reduce drasticly the need of public transit from surburb to suburb going through the city center (by building lines arround Paris, directly between suburbs).

It’s a political thing. That car-free day is literally of no importance against the massive transition the city is going through.

Paris will become more or less car-free in the end. Its only a matter of time.”

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