Bike-friendly Paris votes on raising parking fees for SUVs

Bike-friendly Paris votes on raising parking fees for SUVs

/ 11:02 AM February 04, 2024

Bike-friendly Paris votes on raising parking fees for SUVs

A man rides a bicycle along a bike path on the Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge near the Eiffel Tower in Paris during a nationwide day of strike and protests against the French government’s pension reform plan in France, January 19, 2023. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

PARIS — Paris holds a referendum on Sunday asking Parisians whether the city should impose a parking surcharge on large SUVs, as the French capital pushes on with its multi-year plan to become a fully bikable city.

Sunday’s referendum, which comes less than a year after city residents voted last year to ban e-scooters, aims to triple the parking fees for cars of 1.6 tonnes and more to 18 euros ($19.4) per hour, to discourage “bulky, polluting” cars, City Hall said.


The new tariff would also apply to electric cars of 2 tonnes and more.


“Heavier, more dangerous, more polluting… SUVs are an environmental disaster,” Emmanuel Gregoire, the deputy mayor of Paris said on X.

READ: On your bike! Paris commuters take to two wheels to beat strike

Under Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the streets of Paris have been transformed, with 84 km of cycle lanes being created since 2020 and a 71% jump in bike usage between the end of the COVID-19 lockdowns and 2023, according to City Hall figures.

The changes have infuriated car drivers, however.

READ: The green transformation of Paris

The 40 millions d’automobilistes car driving lobby launched a petition to support drivers’ freedom to use whichever vehicle they want. SUVs have become increasingly popular in France, favored by families in particular.

“We must firmly oppose these attacks on freedom pursued under false green pretexts,” the group said. “If we don’t stop it now, this unjustified rebellion led by an ultra-urban and anti-car minority will spread like gangrene to other cities.”

($1 = 0.9273 euros)

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TAGS: Bike, France, Paris, SUVs

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