A map of Paris showing the new 30km/h zones
A map of Paris showing the new 30km/h zones

Following on from earlier posts on slow zones in New York and London and free right hand (in NZ left hand) turns in Paris, more inpirational stuff from Paris to create a better city for pedestrians and cyclists (and motorists).

Paris is to set a default speed limit of 30km/h over the whole city. The only exceptions will be a few key arterials and some routes down the banks of the Seine.

Having lived in Normandy for a year and visited Paris many times, I am glad to see that the French are finally moving away from their obsession with cars. At least in the early 2000s, so much of even small cities was being turned over to cars and previously pedestrian areas were being turned into defacto motorways.

Considering the huge number of people in Paris who walk as a means of transport, there is certainly plenty of enthusiasm for active modes. Despite that, huge swathes of Paris are still dedicated solely to moving cars around. Many of us have an image of French on bicycles but I can tell you that, other than sport cyclists on rural roads, I was usually the only cyclist on the road in towns like Le Havre, Caen and Rouen.

Hopefully one day Auckland will catch on to this trend of 30km/h zones which is a major feature of the much safer traffic conditions in Europe.

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