“Next spring, we will drive through the city at a speed of 30 kilometers an hour,” the Greens Mayor Grégory Doucet announced to the residents and visitors of Lyon in a radio broadcast. Following the capital of Paris, where the new speed limit already applies on the vast majority of streets, Lyon and Bordeaux will follow suit to drastically limit car traffic.
Doucet is thus fulfilling the program of the ruling “Green Khmers,” as President Emmanuel Macron called the radical Green politicians in some large French cities.
“Almost all streets will have (a maximum speed) of 30 kph (less than 18 miles per hour), except for some ring roads and highways, where 50 km/h will remain,” said Mayor Doucet.
According to him, the reason is to quiet down the city, make it more peaceful, and reduce the accident rate.
Yet another city that is introducing the new limit is Bordeaux. From January 2022, the capital of the Gironde estuary, led by environmentalist Pierre Hurmic, will apply this restriction on nine out of ten streets throughout the city. The exceptions will be the Garonne waterfront and the city boulevards. By the end of his term in 2026, Hurmic also plans to triple the number of lanes reserved for buses and bicycles.
In addition to “calming down” the city and “reducing traffic,” Hurmic has cited “lower pollution” as a reason behind this step.
After Paris introduced the speed limit of 30 kph on most streets at the end of the summer holiday, a comprehensive study was published, confirming previous data that, on the contrary, reducing the speed to 30 kph significantly increases harmful emissions. The lowest amount of emissions, according to the study, occurs at the speed of 50–80 kph.
Title image: Green Party Europe-Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) Gregory Doucet, candidate in the second round of the municipal elections, leaves the polling station on his bike after voting in Lyon, central France, Sunday, June 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)