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Paris introduces strict speed limit for cars on nearly all its streets

A limit of 30kph (less than 19mph) is now in force. Picture by Michel Euler, AP
Associated Press Reporter

France’s capital has introduced a new speed limit for vehicles on nearly all the streets of Paris with the maximum speed now just 30kph, less than 19mph.

It is the latest initiative by a city trying to burnish its climate credentials and transform people’s relationship to their vehicles.

City officials say it is also aimed at reducing accidents and making Paris more pedestrian-friendly.

Car owners are fuming.

Delivery drivers say it will create longer wait times for customers while taxi drivers say it will drive up rates and hurt business.

But polls suggest most Parisians support the idea, notably in hopes that it makes the streets safer and quieter.

Already, cyclists often move faster than cars in the densely populated French capital.

The new rule includes exceptions for a handful of wide avenues including the famed Champs-Elysees and the bypass circling the historical capital.

Under Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo, the Paris city government has already restricted or banned vehicle traffic on several streets and multiplied the number of bike lanes.

Some other French cities and towns have also limited speeds to 30kph.

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