Paris votes whether to hit SUVs with eye-popping parking costs in latest green drive before Olympics

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The move would dramatically increase the hourly cost of parking a large SUV in the center of the French capital.

ANNOUNCEMENT

Parisians voted on Sunday whether to remove SUVs from the streets of the French capital by making them much more expensive to park, the latest stage in an initiative by Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo to make the city that will host this year’s Olympic Games greener and friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists. .

Hidalgo is seeking voter support for a proposal to triple parking fees for out-of-town SUV drivers.

In posts urging the vote on social media, Hidalgo argued that SUVs take up too much space in narrow Paris streets, are too polluting and “threaten our health and our planet” and cause more road accidents than smaller cars.

“It’s time to break with this trend of cars getting bigger, taller and wider,” he said. “You have the power to take back ownership of our streets.”

The cost for non-residents to park SUVs in central Paris, in the 1st to 11th arrondissements, would rise to 18 euros an hour for the first two hours, compared to 6 euros an hour for smaller cars .

After that, parking would become increasingly punitive. A six-hour stay in an SUV – enough, say, to see a show and a restaurant – would cost a whopping 225 euros, compared to 75 euros for smaller vehicles.

Far from the heart of the city, in Paris’ outer 12th to 20th arrondissements, an out-of-town SUV driver would pay 12 euros an hour for the first two hours, rising progressively to 150 euros for six hours.

The mini-referendum was open to Parisians registered to vote. The question they were asked to vote on was: “For or against the creation of a specific fee for parking individual heavy, bulky and polluting cars?”

Polling stations were due to close at 7pm CET, with results expected later on Sunday evening.

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