By: Cristina Cortejoso, ECF Communications

The ECF is happy to congratulate the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and Christophe Najdovski, deputy mayor of Paris and President of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), on a momentous win for cyclists in the glittering city of Paris! On October 25th, a city administrative court ruled on appeal in favor of an automobile ban implemented by mayor Hidalgo, upon a targeted stretch of road on the right bank of the river Seine. The approximately 3 km length that stretches along the river Seine from the Tuileries gardens to the Henri IV tunnel, which was previously a major thoroughfare for automotive traffic, was permanently blocked off to all motorized traffic in 2016 in favor of creating a cycling and pedestrian-friendly urban highway. The car ban was immediately opposed by different critic groups, including motorist advocacy associations and local politicians representing the suburban districts adjoining the city. However, the Parisian administrative court concluded that that use of the thoroughfare would remain exclusive to cyclists and pedestrians. “The prohibition of motor traffic enacted by the mayor of Paris is justified by the need to preserve a registered UNESCO World Heritage site,” said the administrative court in its decision.

In a video published on her Twitter account mayor Hidalgo welcomed “the mobilization of Parisians.” Furthermore, deputy mayor Najdovski released the following statement: “Paris has chosen to transform an old urban highway into an urban park. Today, this park constitutes a formidable pedestrian and cycling continuity, from the Eiffel Tower to the Place de la Bastille, which has been used by millions of people since its opening. The Administrative Court confirmed this decision. The city thus strengthened its links and reinvented itself with the Seine. This decision confirms our policy of rebalancing public space for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists and in favor of better air quality.”

The ban is part of a larger Paris Breathes campaign pushed forward by mayor Hidalgo, through which over the last few years Paris’s cycling network has been expanded, city-wide monthly car free days have been declared, and plans have been announced to ban fuel engine cars from Paris by the year 2030. The measures sought out within the campaign are based on an effort to reduce air and traffic pollution and promote healthier modes of transportation, such as walking and cycling, by limiting car traffic in city centers and eventually move towards “car-free” cities.


Original post, November 2018: