Paris loves Pedestrians

I have always loved that Paris is such a pedestrian-friendly city and now it is becoming even more so.  The Voie Georges-Pompidou which is usually one of the busiest highways in Paris, is eerily quiet.  Usually about 43,000 cars a day would use this highway to get from one side of Paris to the other but now there are other plans afoot.  Workers are here planning playgrounds, wooden terraces, waterside gardens restaurants and rectangular terrains for playing boules.

If you have ever visited Paris in recent years in July, then you may have seen this section on the right bank being used for the Paris Plages.  It's such fun!  For about a month they transform this area into an artificial beach and it is a total hit for locals and tourists alike.  This year the area was not reclaimed as a highway and instead it will remain the domain of those on foot for an extra six months.  Many will be watching how this effects the movement of traffic throughout Paris.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo, believes closing the streets to cars is the way to go for Paris.  Many others agree and say that this will make Paris “more beautiful, more warm, more modern, more green and more human”, and described the use of the riverside autoroutes as “anachronistic … The idea of building a motorway right in the heart of the city might have seemed a good one in the 60s … but as is often the case, yesterday’s solutions are today’s problems.”



Clare Robinson-GaleComment