Mayor Starts Revolution
|Will the Marais be free of snarled traffic someday?|
March 15, 2005: Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has changed Paris in a number of small ways since he took office in 2001 – creating Paris Plage and founding La Nuit Blanche, for example – but according to a report published in the Journal du Dimanche on March 13, he is now planning something truly revolutionary: banning tourist buses and the cars of non-residents in four of the city’s central arrondissements – the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th – by the year 2012. The plan will be gradually phased in, starting with the closing of the riverside road that has long been a blight on one of the most beautiful sites in Paris. Let’s hope the mayor will stick to his guns on this one and resist the powerful pro-car elements. Other cities, even Rome, have survived the banning of vehicles in their centers. Traffic congestion was cited as one reason for Paris’s ranking of 31 in a recent survey on the quality of life in the world’s largest cities, conducted by Mercer Consulting.
© 2005 Paris Update
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