Tripling of Parking Fees for “Heavy Vehicles” Voted on by Narrow Majority in Paris

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The “creation of a specific tariff for the parking of heavy, bulky, and polluting individual cars” was voted with 54.55% of the vote. The Parisians have spoken. Invited to vote on tripling parking fees for high and heavy cars, the residents of the capital have chosen to penalize these vehicles called SUVs. Around 1.3 million voters were invited to go to one of the 38 polling stations to vote on whether “to create a specific tariff for the parking of heavy, bulky, and polluting individual cars.”

In the end, only 78,000 voters turned out (5.68%). They voted in favor of this new tax by nearly 54.55%. The implementation of this new measure will not be immediate. The decision will be presented in May at the Paris Council, for implementation on September 1st, as announced by Anne Hidalgo at the announcement of the results at the City Hall, praising a “clear choice of the Parisians” in favor of a measure “good for our health and good for the planet.”

Through this vote, SUVs, an English acronym for Sport Utility Vehicle, which combines “the characteristics of a passenger car with those of a utility vehicle,” and 4x4s are specifically targeted. With the victory of the “for” vote, visitors whose gasoline or plug-in hybrid vehicle exceeds 1.6 tons, or 2 tons for an electric vehicle, will now have to pay 18 euros per hour for the central districts and 12 euros for the outer districts. In April 2023, around 103,000 people, or 7.46% of the eligible voters, had voted for the removal of free-floating scooters in the capital, in the first ballot of its kind. This time, there was “a little less” participation “than for the scooters,” but it is “a very good result,” commented the mayor of Paris, anticipating other votes to “decide on issues that affect our daily lives.”

In a statement, the LR and related opposition group judged that the vote had taken place “in general indifference.” “This very low turnout combined with close results on a measure claimed as emblematic by Anne Hidalgo and her team is a real rebuff for the mayor of Paris,” said the right-wing opposition. The results by district align with the political map: opposition to the special tariff prevails in those led by the right, while the “for” vote is in the majority in those led by the left or Horizons. In the capital, which has already pedestrianized the banks of the Seine and vegetated 200 streets, the Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo justified the vote by the fight against pollution, a better sharing of public space, and “road safety,” accidents involving an SUV being “twice as deadly for pedestrians as with a standard car,” according to the city hall.

This vote is the second in the capital, following the one that confirmed the eviction of free-floating scooters in April 2023. Unsurprisingly, motorists’ associations have criticized the city’s initiative. SUV is a “marketing term” that “means nothing,” reacted Yves Carra, spokesperson for Mobilité Club France. For the right-wing opposition, this “demonstrates the extent of the manipulation of the City, which targets SUVs in its communication even though, in reality, any type of vehicle may be affected by the standards subject to the vote.”

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