City Center Limited Traffic Zone Could Be Postponed After Olympics

The implementation of the limited traffic zone (ZTL) in central Paris, which aims to prohibit traffic in the city center for vehicles without a valid reason, could be postponed again until after the Summer Olympics in 2024. The establishment of the ZTL was initially scheduled for “early 2024,” following a previous delay of one and a half years in 2022, as announced by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo in March. Hidalgo stated that she would “meet the deadlines,” amidst negotiations with the police prefecture, which initially had “strong reservations.”

During a press conference on the progress of the preparations for the Olympics, the city’s first deputy mayor, Emmanuel Grégoire, explained that the mayor and the police prefect had agreed on the timeline for implementing the ZTL after the games. However, Grégoire’s office clarified that various possibilities, including a short-term postponement, are being considered but no decision has been made yet. The goal is still to implement the ZTL by early 2024.

The city aims to include the four central arrondissements, as well as parts of the 5th, 6th, and 7th arrondissements situated between Boulevard Saint-Germain and the Seine River, in the ZTL. The purpose of the ZTL is to significantly reduce the presence of cars in the city center by prohibiting transit traffic, which is said to represent 50% of the current traffic. The police prefecture is located in the heart of this area on the Île de la Cité. In early June, a representative from the police prefecture expressed disagreement with the proposed timeline to establish the ZTL just before the Olympics during a Paris council meeting.

The under-prefect Elise Lavielle, chief of staff to Laurent Nuñez, immediately backtracked, stating her “cautious position on the timeline before the Olympics.” In early September, the Green Party deputy mayor for mobility, David Belliard, affirmed that there would be “no further postponement: the ZTL will be implemented before the Olympics.” However, he acknowledged that the exact perimeter of the ZTL would depend partly on the police prefecture’s decision.

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