Green Paris: Mayor Seeks To Ban Older Vehicles, Cigarette Butts From City Of Light

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In an effort to reduce pollution in the fabled city, Parisian officials are planning to ban older-model vehicles, trucks and bicycles from city limits within two years.

Under the proposed measures, by September 2014, automobiles and utility cars which are older than 17 years – and buses and trucks which have passed their 18th birthdays – will be prohibited from the City of Light.

 

Paris' Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoë also focused on motorcycles – any built prior to 2004 will have no place the city – citing that they are the "most polluting and noisiest."

 

As the Daily Telegraph newspaper noted, classic French vehicles like Peugeot 205s and Renault 4Ls, as well as Vespa motorbikes, will disappear from the Parisian landscape.

 

The proposals, which remain subject to ministerial approvals as well as the Paris Préfecture de Police, are part of a comprehensive plan for the city to cut emissions by 30 percent by 2015. If it fails to do so, the EU would fine France 100 million euros.

 

Delanoë has recently encouraged Parisians to rely on trams and bicycles and reduce dependence on cars.

 

The pollution-cutting measures have come under fire from a number of quarters.

 

Fabien Breuvart, who owns a 1990 Renault 4L (which would be scrapped) told Le Parisien newspaper: "Is this mayor really left-wing?" citing that poor people would be prohibted from journeying into city, making Paris an oasis for the wealthy.

 

Philippe Goujon, an senior official of the center-right-wing UMP opposition blasted the measures as "anti-social, anti-surbuban and anti-motorist."

 

The real problem, critics say, is France's heavy use of diesel fuel, which is used by three-fifths of French vehicles and emits far more harmful pollutants than regular petrol.

 

Last month, the mayor declared war on another quality-of-life issue, the proliferation of cigarette butts on city streets by smokers who can't light up anymore in cafes, restaurants and other public places.

 

The mayor seeks to install 10,000 public ashtrays and fine offenders in order to alleviate the unsightly problem.

 

Francois Dagnaud, the deputy mayor of Paris, told Le Parisien: "At the entrance to metros, at the entrances to cafés and restaurants ... the situation isn't acceptable ... the sidewalks are carpeted with cigarette butts.”

 

He added: "I know for a lot of smokers the natural reaction is to throw them (butts) on the ground, but we want to remind them that the sidewalk is not an ashtray and a cigarette butt is toxic waste. Our goal is of course not to put a police officer behind every smoker, but to encourage them to change their behavior."

 

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