The transformation of the ring road is “positive for artisans” (City of Paris)

What will the future Paris ring road look like? The City of Paris imagines a lane reserved for carpooling, public transport and taxis, open at certain times and limited to 50 km/hour. If the question is not resolved, the municipality launches a consultation on the subject. Organized under the aegis of the National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP), this electronic public participation (PPVE), “open to all“, will be held from April 17 to May 28, 2023. Ile-de-France residents, users and residents of the boulevard are invited to comment on the terms of the project on a dedicated platform, the results of which will be communicated next July.

“The Legacy of the Olympics”

The transformation of the ring road is a major challenge for the metropolis“, assures Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy mayor of Paris in charge of urban planning, architecture, Greater Paris, during a press briefing on April 5, 2023. “This is the legacy of the Olympics.

The sporting event, held in 2024 in the capital, must indeed allow the creation of priority Olympic and Paralympic routes reserved for the transport of athletes, officials and emergency services from one site to another. A “obligation listed in the specifications“, emphasizes the first deputy. The installation of these lanes, the signage and control network will be financed by Solideo (Olympic works delivery company), to the tune of 18.7 million euros. A boon for the City of Paris which wants, after the sporting event, to keep this dedicated lane to open it to certain motorists.This axis complements the similar lanes created on the A1 and A13 motorways as part of a project supported by the State“, says the spokesperson.

A large majority of motorists are alone in their vehicle

The lane dedicated to public transport and carpooling would make transport more fluid, reduce household expenses, reduce noise and air pollution, and “to have a positive impact on the environment” while “80 to 85% of motorists who use the ring road every day are alone in their vehicle“, recalls Emmanuel Grégoire. In total, 1.2 million people use the device every day.

A “prime“could even be distributed to those who carpool,”as is the case at LyonsGrenoble or Los Angeles“, says David Belliard, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of the transformation of public space, transport, mobility and roads.

Some drawn proposals

Although nothing has been decided yet, the PPVE nevertheless submits a few proposals, including the hours of use (between 6:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. then from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.), the type of motorists authorized (taxis, public transport, carpooling) or even the speed (50 km/hour for the entire ring road). “A white diamond would light up when the lane is in use“, specifies the deputy, who assures that the City does not wish to reserve the boulevard for these uses”Round the clock“. Another detail: there will be no markings on the ground or separators.

Three-quarters of the route could be taken by the end of 2024 and entirely by mid-2025. Preparatory work has already started. The ring road will be closed in sections and work will be carried out at night. “The work will be painless for Parisians“, says Emmanuel Grégoire, who wants to be reassuring. People who do not respect future measures will risk a fine of 135 euros. Only an agent will be authorized to verbalize, relying on a network of cameras. Two radars allowing to count the number of people in a vehicle are already being tested.

What about construction professionals?

Professionals, in particular workers and craftsmen involved in urgent operations and who wish to use this route, will also have to submit to the obligation to have several people in their vehicle. “The creation of this axis aims to streamline and reduce road traffic“, recalls David Belliard, estimating at 200,000 fewer cars driving daily on the ring road.Fewer motorists on the road is positive for craftsmen and workers, who will take less time to get around.

But the project does not excite everyone. The Region, led by Valérie Pécresse, says it is opposed to this transformation of an axis of the ring road, which it describes as “closing“. She had organized, in this sense, an online consultation at the end of 2021 which had received 90% opposition.

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