Parisians back hefty increase in parking fees for SUVs in city referendum
The referendum, albeit with a low turnout of just 5.68 percent, was binding. A slim majority of 54.55 percent of the voters favored a drastic rise in parking charges for these cars in the French capital.
The new regulations backed by Parisians will lead to higher parking fees for cars weighing over 3,520 pounds - including combustion engine cars, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and electric cars exceeding 4,400 pounds. The fees will climb to 18 EUR (around $20) in central districts, while outside the center, it will be 12 EUR (approximately $14) per hour.
It's noteworthy to mention that this policy mainly affects visitors. Parisians, individuals who work permanently in Paris, taxi drivers, healthcare workers, and disabled people will be exempt from the increased fees. The changes are scheduled to come following the commencement of September.
Paris's Mayor declares war on cars
Anne Hidalgo, a member of the Socialist Party and concurrently the mayor of Paris, commended residents for their choice. One of her objectives is to diminish the number of cars on the capital's streets considering people's health and the protection of the climate.
The hike in fees, which is projected to render around an additional $39 million in yearly revenue for city hall, is not the sole initiative aimed at motorists. Paris also intends to transform some of its streets into pedestrian zones and extend its network of cycling paths.
SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) epitomize vehicles that integrate features of both passenger cars and off-road vehicles, often noted for their larger sizes and heavier weights. These vehicles currently account for 40 percent of car purchases in France. According to city hall, they contribute to issues concerning pollution, safety, and equitable distribution of public space.