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Earth Transportation

Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road 405

Posted by samzenpus
from the to-drive-or-not-to-drive dept.
cartechboy writes "Pollution is becoming a very large issue in major cities due to the amount of vehicles on the road. To try and help this issue Paris just banned all vehicles on alternate odd and even license plates today and tomorrow. Of course, electric cars and hybrids are exempt from the new restrictions as they aren't part of the problem, rather they are seen as part of the solution. Naturally taxis, buses, emergency vehicles, and cars carrying three or more passengers (hooray for carpooling) are also exempt. High levels of particulate matter are blamed for all the various respiratory diseases, while higher oxides of nitrogen are a primary cause of smog. We'd have to say that this ban probably won't be the last one as traffic levels increase over time."
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Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

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  • Paris had cars? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by alen (225700) on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:02PM (#46509771)

    honestly that was the most shocking thing i've read in the last few days

    the way the europeans talk they live in ancient cities where smiling people happily bike, walk or take the train everywhere on thousand year old streets and the $8 a gallon gas makes life awesome

    except in evil USA where we suck up the world's resources driving everywhere

  • Carpooling (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:03PM (#46509785)

    So what happens when it's my day to drive the carpool, and I need to go pick up everyone? I'm the only person in the car when I set out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:04PM (#46509793)

    The traffic in Paris will collapse long before smog will become a problem on most days of the year. Like most old European cities, Paris just wasn't built for cars. A traffic jam of electric cars is not going to help.

  • by flaming error (1041742) on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:05PM (#46509805) Journal

    Not a new concept, still an interesting development.

    But they didn't ban half of the cars, they banned half of the driving.

  • by morcego (260031) on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:15PM (#46509939)

    São Paulo has had car circulation restrictions based on plate number for years now (more than a decade, too lazy to check exactly when). Mon-Fri, each day a couple different numbers aren't allowed on the streets.

    The streets are still clogged, still polluted as hell. Government says it improved things. I can only imagine what it would be like without this restriction, then.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:23PM (#46510051)

    You built your cities so that biking, walking or taking the train isn't an option. That's that difference.

    But read again what he is saying. That despite the fact that yes, european cities are often built to be more friendly to bikes/walking/mass transit, they still have a LOT of cars. So how much did it really help to design a city to facilitate this when they still have vast pollution issues from cars?

    In a small counterpoint, I'm not sure Paris is really a city that embraces bikes to the same extent places like Amsterdam or Copenhagen do... and I think you are making an overly blanket statement about U.S. cities, I don't know if you know but there are quite a few large U.S. cities where you can get around very well via mass transit or bike. I found it nearly as easy to bike around San Francisco (even with the hills!) as in Amsterdam.

  • Re:Paris had cars? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alen (225700) on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:30PM (#46510147)

    NYC has like 10 million people that take the train in daily
    LA, Boston and others also have millions that take the train to work

    a lot of the cities in the US have less than a million people which isn't enough to pay for a train system

    and even with NYC traffic, there is no smog here. i remember when i grew up there was lots of smog. but with the new cars being clean and all you can look at manhattan and there is no more smog hanging over it. the sky over NYC is clearer than parts of colorado ive been to

  • OLD NEWS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:34PM (#46510201)

    This is already done in Mexico City. The net result has been to INCREASE pollution. While air quality in the city did not change at all, residents simply kept their old car when they bought another one. Now they had 2 cars and could drive every day of the week because they had different plates. As a result they kept older cars that might have been salvaged running longer, producing more pollutants over the long run and also forcing the poor that could only afford one car to be the only group in compliance with the spirit of the law. Car purchases in Mexico city sky rocketed while new car production remained stagnant, meaning people were buying older used cars. Basically this law caused Mexico city to suck in every 20 year old jalopy from every neighboring city and town just so residents could get to work on time.

    There have been many studies done on this. Here's just the first that popped up in Google.
    Citation: []


  • by Zibodiz (2160038) on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:36PM (#46510213)
    While I've admittedly never been to New York, all of my colleagues from NYC purchased cars after they moved away. The city streets are almost exclusively used by taxis and public transportation. Most people apparently use the subway to get around.
    NYC is the largest city on our continent, and also one of the oldest. Infrastructure design isn't the reason for most Americans using cars. It's the fact that most of our cities have very separate housing and business districts, and there's no practical way to transport everyone 30+ miles each way every day to work, especially when the residential areas are evenly distributed in a circle around the business districts. If there were a functioning light rail/bus/subway system, it would take an additional hour or so of your day to use it, since there would have to be several interchanges to make it reasonable. NYC is the exception to this, since it was built before fast transportation existed, and hence the residential areas were mingled with the business districts.
  • Re:Its silly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:37PM (#46510237) Homepage Journal

    Those don't cause smog in your own city, and transport represents over a quarter of all energy usage, so gotta call BS on the general "Drop in the bucket" principle you're pushing as well.

    It's only true if you're ignoring both the context, and giving a lot of wiggle room for the phrase "drop in the bucket".

  • Re:Its silly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:45PM (#46510319)

    The combined pollution of all the cars on the road in the entire country of France is a tiny drop in the bucket of pollution caused by industrial waste, mostly from poor countries struggling to get a foothold in the global economy.

    They are plugging a leak in the wall while ignoring the torrent pouring out of the wide open window right next to it.

    Talking about silly, you didn't read any of the article in question did you? They are addressing a local smog problem. Please elaborate on how limiting local pollution in the city of Paris is an ineffective way of reducing the local smog problem in the city of Paris?

Bus error -- please leave by the rear door.