When Paris Closed A Major Road To Cars, Half Its Traffic Just Disappeared
Every summer in Paris, the city closes an almost two-mile stretch of road along the Right Bank of the Seine and turns it into a beach, complete with sand, beach huts, deckchairs, and parasols. This year, Paris decided not to re-open the road at all, turning the riverside into a permanently pedestrianized area.
The first traffic figures for the "non-re-opening" are in, with detailed numbers for the amount of cars displaced onto nearby roads. And while the traffic on these roads has jumped quite alarmingly during the morning rush-hour, the figures are way lower than Paris’ mayor Anne Hidalgo expected. Better still, evening rush-hour traffic has seen little to no effect. It’s as if those cars just disappeared. In fact, many of them have.
On this stretch of the river there are two roads running parallel, one high and one low. With the closure of the low road, big increases in traffic on the upper road were expected, as well as spillover onto the nearby Boulevard Saint Germain. And this did happen. The upper road saw a morning increase in traffic of 73%, and 13% in the evening. On the Boulevard Saint Germain, traffic increased 41% in the morning and just 4% in the evening.