By on March 23, 2015

paris authentic citroen 2CV eiffel HR

Municipal authorities in Paris banned cars with even numbered license plates from entering the city, in a bit to limit traffic and ease record levels of pollution.

Paris implemented similar measures last spring, since weather patterns during the season can amplify levels of pollution in the air. The measures were credited with reducing traffic by 40 percent, though hybrids, EVs and other “clean cars” were exempt.

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52 Comments on “Paris Bans Cars With Even Numbered Plates To Cut Pollution, Congestion...”


  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Actually, they are alternating between even and odd. Even plates one day and odd the next. It’s a temporary thing due to a smog peak.

    As one would expect, there are a ton of exceptions (electrics, hybrids, some commercial, etc). Also, public transport is free for the length of this ban.

  • avatar
    Carilloskis

    So they just flat out said nobody with even number plates can drive in the cit? Why not alternate between even and odd numbers so people can still use their cars if they live in Paris?

  • avatar
    Ihatejalops

    Just ban the diesel….always funny when they do this congestion stuff, screw the working class, but if you can afford an EV/Hybrid, well you’re welcome to get to work rich people and drive.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    If only America would ban the Cadillac ATS. The instrumentation alone makes my eyes water more than any air pollution ever could.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Requesting picture evidence of your eyes watering at the sight of the ATS’s instrumentation.

      Not that I doubt the possibility of such an occurrence. I felt slightly dizzy upon sight of a rental Avenger’s interior once on a trip back from Denver. But maybe it was the plastic fumes wafting off the dash.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Only thing worse in Paris than the air is the millions of cigarette butts laying everywhere and in general all the trash/litter in the public places. Architecture is beautiful though.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I think they used to do this in Mexico City.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Ah, the ever-present war on personal freedom by the aspiring social engineers of the world. “I think there’s too much traffic, therefore you can’t drive your car today.”

    The scary part is how easily we are seduced by the logic of new regulations, without ever stopping to ask ourselves if we really WANT to be in a perpetual negotiation about stripping away personal freedoms.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Well, there is that thing called “social responsibility.”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Well, there is that thing called “social responsibility.””

        First world problems.

        But seriously, don1967 has a point.

        • 0 avatar
          TonyJZX

          this practice already happens in many parts of asia and really, so what?

          france isnt a full on liberal democracy like the US… dont take ‘liberty equality fraternity’ to the nth degree

          you guys have HOV lanes and other restrictions too

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You may be surprised to learn both the gov’t of the United States of America and the Fifth French Republic are not democracies but are in fact, republics.

            “The United States is a federal constitutional republic, in which the President of the United States (the head of state and head of government), Congress, and judiciary share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_the_United_States

            “The politics of France take place with the framework of a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the fifth Republic. The nation declares itself to be an “indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic”.[1] The constitution provides for a separation of powers and proclaims France’s “attachment to the Rights of Man and the principles of national sovereignty as defined by the Declaration of 1789.””

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_France

            Regarding “social responsibility”:

            “Social responsibility is an ethical framework which suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_responsibility

            In other words it is a concept, one might argue a progressive concept, developed by those in the First World. This was my basic comment other than simply stating Don1967 had a point. What was your point, exactly?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Which of the following will last longer:

      (a) Paris’ temporary restrictions
      (b) Complaints by the TTAC commentariat about said restrictions

      My bet is on (b).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’ll take the opposite and go with “(a)”. I chose this simply because “temporary restrictions” from any gov’t frequently become permanent and eventually TTAC’ers outside of Europe will either forget or cease to care about the issue.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          You guys need to drop the conspiracy theories.

          It’s temporary. If the weather is favorable, it won’t be in place tomorrow.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I can’t speak for Parisians or how things work in the French nation but I do know many temporary things a gov’t imposes do become permanent, which is my point.

            From my own backyard:

            “The most famous (or infamous) temporary tax is the 1936 Johnstown Flood Tax. Enacted as a 10 percent tax on liquor, the toll was set to expire May 31, 1937. Over the years, the sunset date was extended numerous times until the tax was made permanent in 1951. The current rate is 18 percent.

            A year prior to the Johnstown Flood Tax, the Cigarette Tax was enacted as another emergency tax of 0.1 cent per cigarette. It became permanent in 1951, and the current rate is 6.75 cents per cigarette.

            Other “temporary” taxes include the Realty Transfer Tax – enacted in 1951 as a 1 percent temporary tax. The tax was made permanent in 1961 and the rate remains at 1 percent.

            The Corporate Net Income Tax (CNI) was first imposed in 1935 at a rate of 6 percent. The rate “temporarily” was raised in 1977 to 10.5 percent, which was made permanent in 1982. In 1991, the rate reached a high of 12.25 percent, and in 1995, lowered to its current rate of 9.9 percent.

            The Sales and Use Tax was enacted in 1953, and eventually evolved into support for public education. The tax started at 1 percent and currently is at 6 percent. The initial 6 percent imposition was also to be temporary until 1969, however, later that year the 6 percent was made permanent. Philadelphia and Allegheny County impose another 1 percent on purchases in their jurisdictions.

            The Personal Income Tax (PIT) was imposed in 1971 at 2.3 percent. Throughout the years, the rate has varied and some increases automatically sunsetted. The PIT reached its current high in 2003 when Governor Rendell raised the rate to its current 3.07 percent.

            As you can see, temporary taxes are rarely temporary and higher taxes are simply no good for Pennsylvania’s future or economic recovery. We must get government spending under control and have additional choices other than raising taxes “even if only “temporary.”

            Mike Folmer of Lebanon, Pennsylvania is a Pennsylvania State Senator who represents the 48th Senate district, which includes all of Lebanon County and portions of Berks, Chester, Dauphin and Lancaster Counties.”

            http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2009/08/20/temporary-taxes-are-rarely-temporary/

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            As I said, I fully expect the fears and trepidations of posters here to outlive the car restrictions. Panic is all the rage in the TTAC comments section.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            News update: Odd-even was a one-day event; things go back to normal on Tuesday. You can stop panicking now.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Congrats, Pch.

        • 0 avatar
          jim brewer

          Correct. I can’t tell you how sick I am of the federal cabaret tax.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Pch, I don’t see how being temporary makes it any less insidious. Some of the world’s worst infringements of freedom were temporary, or at least started that way.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        As I predicted, the whining from the TTAC commentariat would last longer than the restriction.

        The air in Paris was much worse than usual yesterday. What would you have done about it?

        • 0 avatar
          don1967

          The restrictions aren’t over. They’ll be back, Pch, and you know it. No educated person would think otherwise.

          The real “whiners” in this story are the people who don’t like the air quality. They have the freedom to leave Paris, but like all aspiring social engineers they would rather stick around and revoke the freedoms which others enjoy.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            This is why you aren’t mayor of anything: You whine a lot, but offer no solutions.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Since you have some familiarity with the French nation, what would your solution be?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            It’s France we’re talking here, who cares? They’re a strange lot who eat snails and basically hate cars

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The mayor had to deal with a temporary problem that was attributable to the weather, and provided a short-term solution. That was the responsible thing to do.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Because the mayor knows that the upcoming ban on poor people diesels will solve the problem once and for all… It will also eliminate some badly performing diesels along with all those poor people

            Care for some cake?

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “what would your solution be?”

            Ride it out. It’s only temporary based on the weather.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Bergen, Norway, did the same a couple of years ago. No sanctions though.

    Diesel engines and an atmospheric phenomenon called inversion collude to make politicians do stupid stuff.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I’m as libertarian as the next guy, but air pollution is a public health issue. I spent a summer working in Los Angeles in 1969, and there were some days that the air was a dingy white color and I couldn’t breathe deeply without coughing. I also visited Mexico City in December 1974 and experienced a similar feeling.

    If this is what has to be done on a short-term basis to remedy the problem, then it should be done. Long-term something better should be worked out, including an effort to identify the sources of pollution (whether it’s diesel engines, poorly maintained engines, GDI, stationary sources, whatever). At least Paris has a pretty well-developed mass transit system, which is more than you can say for most American cities outside of the Eastern Seaboard.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    It’s France’s own fault for over-taxing gasoline and gas engines. Do that and people are driven to crappy old used diesels because they can’t afford gas or the tax on it.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It seems like a good idea. I would say a huge chunk of the Parisian populace use the Metro anyway.

    This is only anecdotal, but it seems the average of the vehicle fleet in France is older than the US so many old gasoline and diesel vehicles are high emitters of particulates.

    Even the new GDI gasoline engines emit 1 000 time more particulates than a modern diesel.

    If anyone has been to Paris one would have seen the older part of the city is surrounded by hills. Geographical influences would also affect pollutant levels, similar to LA or Sydney.

    On average Paris probably is freer of pollutants than many large cities around the world, including US cities.

    I think I read the 10 micron and smaller limit for particulates used for Paris is 80ppm. The city’s average is 38ppm. 80ppm is a global standard that is used in the US as well.

  • avatar
    hawox

    same measure was used many years ago here in italy. totally useless.

    all those “allarms” is pure publicity. only the last Euro 6 restriction on diesel emitions is more effective. the previous ones cut the legs to gasoline engines.

    if you want to reduce city congestions simply reduce prices of the pubblic transport. being pubblic it’s allready covered by our taxes.

  • avatar
    ghills

    Just another in a long line of data points that Ecos are morons


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