On the other side of the world, something interesting is happening. Yet another major city, fed up with gritty smog and pollution that burns the eyes, and congestion from motor vehicles making progress through city streets a tedious and time-consuming process is enacting a law to keep cars out.
Specifically, the city is Paris and the cars that won’t be permitted in the city center are those from 1997 and earlier. The ban affects roughly 10 percent of the vehicles registered in the city.
According to Road/Show, citing a report from Le Monde, the city of lights will ban motor vehicles registered before 1997 from operating in the city center during weekdays. The ban also extends to motorcycles registered before 2000.
The powers-that-be in Paris have further draconian measures on the horizon. The plan is to put in place a system that prohibits all vehicles older than 10 years to drive in the city center at any time – weekday or weekend.
As for scofflaws, they’ll pay a fine of $39 (35 euros). Starting January 1, 2017, the fine increases to $76 (68 euros) for passenger cars and $151 (117 euros) for heavier vehicles.
The law also has a labyrinth of six classifications, an attempt to sort out the worst of the polluting vehicles. The hope is that eventually only the cleanest vehicles will traverse the streets of Paris.
And, no, there’s no exception granted for historic vehicles. So that historic Citroën 2CV won’t be allowed tootling around the Champs-Élyssées or the Arc de Triomphe.
Can’t you just see this happening in American cities like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Detroit? On the other hand, if you live in the city and only need to go a few blocks, there’s always bicycles or your own two feet. Already in some areas in California, it seems more like bicyclists have more right to the road than drivers in vehicles that pay for those roads. But, yes, less vehicles would mean less pollution and possibly less congestion.
In the meantime, ride-sharing, electric, plug-in and hybrid cars are helping to clean up the streets in the U.S., in a manner of speaking.