A major project. Anne Hidalgo promised, Wednesday, May 18, during a press conference, to revegetate 10 hectares of the ring road in Paris and to plant 70,000 trees there by reducing the number of traffic lanes. The PS mayor of the capital wants to make the ring road an urban boulevard like the others, as suggested by a note written for the progressive think tank Terra Nova in 2019.
The 35-kilometre circular ring, which will celebrate its half-century in 2023, is a “grey belt that we would like to see transformed into a green belt” by 2030, said the former PS presidential candidate, who wants to offer the 500,000 inhabitants living on either side of this fast axis a “more harmonious, more pleasant living environment”.
The ring road now usually has four lanes per direction of traffic. “Our goal is two times three lanes on the entire infrastructure,” announced his deputy (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts, EELV) for mobility David Belliard. The “Olympic lane”, reserved for participants in the 2024 Olympic Games (athletes, officials, relief), will then be allocated to buses, taxis and carpooling, said Mr. Belliard, for whom these measures will allow the withdrawal of 80,000 traffic vehicles.
Radical opposition from the region
To carry out this project, Ms. Hidalgo, whose first municipal mandate had been marked by a long politico-judicial fight to transform the roads on the banks of the right bank into a pedestrian promenade, intends to carry out “all legal consultations” and promises ” to listen” to motorists, but also to “truck drivers, traders”. The horizon of 2030, after the end of his second term (2026), must allow “people to be able to adapt” to this change, she further said.
It should face radical opposition on this file from the right-wing president of the Ile-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, who in 2021 asked the State to reconsider this municipal infrastructure as a regional infrastructure and asked ” impact studies” before the town hall launches its projects.
Another former presidential candidate, Ms. Pécresse, had organized an online consultation in which 90% of voters opposed the “removal” of a lane on the ring road. On the ring road, 40% of journeys are from suburb to suburb, and 80% of users are not Parisians, depending on the region.