Paris officials are urging drivers to slow down as they set a 30km/h speed limit on numerous roads. The measure is aimed at reducing pollution and improving traffic safety. Many critics argue that the move could worsen the city’s rush-hour traffic jams, which could result in an increase of greenhouse gas emissions. The rule change took effect on August 30, 2021. Under the new law, officials will also be removing 60,000 parking spaces on public roads to make them “more accessible to everyone,” and will better utilize underground parking. In addition, some sidewalks will be widened and bike lanes will be installed.

The results of a poll conducted by the Parisian City Hall showed that 61% of the city’s residents were in opposition of the new limit, and only 59% of them were in favor. A delivery driver described the rule as “crazy” and likened it to riding on “electric scooters”. Parisian Deputy Mayor David Belliard, who is in charge of transport, hopes that the limit would encourage more people to walk and use bikes. Moreover, officials said that the change is expected to reduce total road accidents by an estimated 25% and fatal accidents by 40%, attributing to a World Health Organization research. The rule change is also intended to halve noise pollution, which had negative physical and psychological effects on people, including stress, insomnia, and depression.