Almost all roads in Paris now feature a 30km/h speed limit. This is to decrease the amount of accidents, reduce noise, and reduce pollution; the latter coming not only from lower emissions produced at lower speeds, but also coming from the expectation that more Parisians will get out of their cars and into public transport.
While it may sound extreme, the BBC reports that approximately two thirds of Paris roads already feature a 30km/h speed limit. It adds that the change had support from the majority of the city, too, with one poll stating 59 per cent of Paris backed the change.
The achingly slow speed limit is just one of the latest wave of anti-car changes being made in Paris. The city’s number of parking spots has been halved in recent times, with cycle lanes subsequently increasing.
There’s an expectation that cars will be banned from the Paris city center in 2022.
The 30km/h speed limit has a handful of exemptions. The Champs Elysées gets a 50km/h speed limit, and the Boulevard Périphérique ring-road gets a face-warping white-knuckle 70km/h speed limit.
It’s hard to imagine a scheme like this getting similar support in any of New Zealand’s major centers. There have been plans to lower some speed limits in Auckland City on selected roads, but not nearly to the extremes shown by the French capital.