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How Paris Kicked Out the Cars

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How Paris Kicked Out the Cars

Old 03-30-23, 05:51 AM
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How Paris Kicked Out the Cars

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Old 03-30-23, 06:47 AM
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If Paris can make the necessary changes, I have hope for American cities to move in this direction and we have a template of some other urban geography (other than Holland) that can implement impactful solutions to improve quality of life.
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Old 03-30-23, 07:26 AM
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Too bad that 30% decrease in traffic collisions isn't going to convince anybody here.
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Old 03-30-23, 07:35 AM
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I lived in Paris in the mid 80s. It was my junior year abroad so I was taking university classes. I was also working part time in a bike shop near the Gare du Nord. I showed up at the store to check it out and the owner was so surprised to find an American who was fluent in French and knew bikes that he offered me a job. I, of course, used that money to buy a bike (a Motobecane with a full Reynolds 531 frame and a Shimano 600 group). I rode that bike everywhere in Paris. There were few if any bike lanes and the traffic was awful. I didn't care. When you are in your 20s, you know you will live forever. Plus I was riding faster than the cars. But yeah you had to deal with lots and lots of cars which meant that only a few crazy people were on bikes. What Paris is doing makes a lot of sense.

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Old 03-30-23, 09:19 AM
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To some extent, the changes that Flonneau decries—the home-price run-up, the deindustrialization, the Uberization of work, the recent population decline—have happened in all of Paris’ peer cities, whether they pursue anti-car policies or not. What sets Paris apart isn’t really the degree that it has become bourgeois (the rich own more cars and drive them more than anyone else) but the rapid rollout of its anti-car policies. That is because of a structural fluke of municipal boundaries: The city line here was drawn in the 1860s and hasn’t moved since, even as the metropolitan population has grown sixfold. (The land area of New York City, by contrast, is 15 times larger than it was in 1860.) As a result, Paris proper accounts for less than 1 in 5 residents of the metro area—a lower ratio of core-to-suburb population than in London, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Hamburg, Milan, or Rome. Hidalgo’s voters really can ride a bike to get where they need to go.

So the complaints from Paris' detractors are from the adjacent boroughs that had a free pass to use Paris' streets for their personal automobile & those complaints are about things hardly unique to conditions inside to Paris alone?

Maybe, just maybe, those people...Instead of going into Paris for all things economic activity, they are choosing to spend money, travel, & live in their own city and stay closer to home. You would think whatever local 'burb that is retaining the benefit of being adjacent to a major metropolitan area would be delighted at the money & tax base kept local.
I shouldn't have to "make myself more visible;" Drivers should just stop running people over.

Car dependency is a tax.
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Old 03-30-23, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau
Too bad that 30% decrease in traffic collisions isn't going to convince anybody here.
NYC is ramping up to enact congestion pricing, which essentially does the same thing of greatly reducing private car traffic in the central core of Manhattan. This is something that is done in countless major metropolitan areas around the world and works well, but of course being NY is being fought tooth and nail here. I think NY will be the first city in the US to do this, if it goes through.
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Old 04-01-23, 05:08 AM
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I live in Tokyo, Japan, where 16% of the population commutes by bicycle (a number close to the entire population of Paris). Tokyo has not “kicked out the cars” from the city because motor vehicles are an essential part of the economic infrastructure. Any limitation on motor vehicle access to the city would have serious economic consequences, and Japanese people aren’t stupid enough to do such a thing. Tokyo has pretty much no cycling infrastructure aside from parking, there are no dedicated bike lanes, and very few bike baths. Yet Tokyo is a very safe place for cycling.

Why? Because Japan’s driver license standards are very high, emphasizing safety. Japan’s laws governing motor vehicle operation are harsh, and harshly enforced. If a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian or cyclist, the motor vehicle is deemed responsible, regardless of the circumstances. Any collision resulting in an injury is considered a crime, any accident causing a fatality will result in a mandatory prison sentence. Japan does not believe in the concept of “accidents,” any collision is a matter of negligence, and negligence is not tolerated when operating something as potentially dangerous as a motor vehicle.

Currently, it costs $48 to get a drivers license in the state of Florida, you need to take a test with 50 questions, and get at least 40 correct, the driving test takes only a few minutes. In Japan the typical cost to get a drivers license is about $3000, a 100 question written test and a difficult road test. Most people fail the written test on their first attempt, almost no one passes the road test on their first attempt. For non-Japanese it can take 5 or 6 attempts to pass, and some people who are experienced drivers in their home countries never pass the Japanese test.
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