Don’t expect to see many SUVs in the background of future photos of the Eiffel Tower. Results of a weekend referendum have tripled parking rates for some types of vehicles in Paris, France. Based on weight, the new rules target out-of-towners who bring SUVs into the City of Light.
The proposal aims to see SUVs or other large vehicles belonging to non-Parisian drivers have parking rates jacked to 18 euros (roughly $20 USD) per hour in places the city center of Paris. These new fees will be applied to vehicles weighing more than 1.6 tonnes (about 3,500 pounds) or two tonnes (4,400 lbs.) for electric vehicles. Drivers who live or work in the city will be exempt if they have parking permits in their area. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she was targeting SUVs for reasons of road safety, air pollution, and climate change
Roughly a million residents, most of whom live in central Paris, were eligible to vote though percentage of turnout was suggested to be in the single digits (5.7 percent is estimated). Of those who did cast a ballot, 54.5 percent said “oui”, meaning it only took roughly 31,000 people in a city with a population of over 2 million enacted a change that’s going to cost some drivers a significant amount of cash.
This new rule may have implications in other cities. Mayors of in places such as London have said they will be watching the effectiveness of these new charges, leaving the door open for similar changes (or referendums of the same) in their jurisdictions. It should be noted we’re using the term SUV for brevity; most of the rigs sold on that side of the pond would fit in the crossover category in our county.
Like many Americans, shoppers in Europe increasingly prefer SUVs when it’s time to open their wallet for a new vehicle. The latest numbers peg that bodystyle as making up at least of half new car sales last year. City officials might be trying to push the things out of city centers but there’s no denying their popularity.
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