Can there be too many SUVs in Paris? This is the latest volley in the mayor’s long-running push towards making the city more pedestrian- and environmentally-friendly, and less attractive to automobiles, in anticipation of next year’s Olympic Games.
The official website for the Olympic Games promises that in Paris in 2024, a fresh concept of ‘Olympism’ will be uniquely introduced to the world. It claimed to provide the athletes with a worldwide platform to promote themselves and their great tales, set against the backdrop of one of the most awe-inspiring cities in the world.
However, Paris’ mayor claimed in February that if Russia keeps attacking Ukraine, the country shouldn’t be permitted to send an Olympic delegation to Paris.
Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a video broadcast on the city’s website on Tuesday that a ballot question asking voters to approve a significant increase in parking costs for visitors driving SUVs would be on the ballot on February 4.
She claimed that people were upset that enormous polluting SUVs were taking up too much room on the streets and along walkways. She believed the vote would send a message to carmakers to cease pushing to acquire more costly, ever-bigger, more gas-guzzling, more polluting’ automobiles.
The city government refused to provide the exact amount of the “large” increase or say how soon it would take effect. What automobiles will be singled out for attack is likewise unclear. Those who live in Paris and have parking permits would be exempt.
Paris City Hall reports that the size of automobiles has increased despite the city’s efforts to decrease the amount of cars on the streets.
The regional newspaper reports that although car owners complain that the vote unjustly targets SUVs, the pedestrian advocacy organization ’60 Million Pedestrians’ tentatively welcomes the concept.
Hidalgo’s referendum plan was met with criticism from her opponents, who said she was seeking to redeem herself following a widely derided city-funded vacation to Tahiti, French Polynesia.
Concerned about accidents and traffic disturbance, Parisians decided to prohibit shared electric scooters earlier this year.