The French Justice validates the pedestrianization of the banks of the Seine

The French Justice validates the pedestrianization of the banks of the Seine

The Paris Administrative Court today validated "definitively" the prohibition of vehicular traffic on the banks of the Seine, a triumph for the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, who has made this one of its star measures in the Consistory.

The court upheld in its ruling the decree issued by the City Council last March, after a first banning order, issued in October 2016, was overturned by the courts.

In that first decree, which was rejected again on Monday on appeal, the City Council invoked exclusively environmental reasons to close traffic to the banks of the Seine River.

However, in the order that has now validated the Justice, the Consistory was protected in the need to protect the heritage of the city and not in the fight against pollution.

"The prohibition of the circulation of automobiles dictated by the City of Paris is justified by the need to preserve a place inscribed in the World Heritage of Unesco", according to the sentence of today.

Hidalgo was the first to announce the decision in a video posted on her Twitter social network account, declaring herself "immensely happy to announce that the banks of Paris are definitely open to the public."

The opposition, which has not said at the moment if the sentence will appeal, took the most colorful measure of the socialist mayor before the courts, so the suspense regarding the future of this axis of the capital has been maintained for two years.

The court today rejected all the petitioners' requests, considering that the 3.3 kilometers of roads concerned are "in the historic heart of Paris and close to emblematic monuments".

"Air pollution has fallen by 17%" in the area between April 2016 and April 2017, according to Airparif data cited by the City Council, which also noted that the number of residents exposed to pollution exceeding the regulations of the World Health Organization has been divided by three between 2014 and 2018.

Mark Watts, executive director of the C40, a group of large cities involved in the fight against climate change, said in a statement that the decision known today "is excellent news" for Parisians.

The banks of the Seine have become a walk frequented by pedestrians, cyclists and skaters throughout the year, but especially in summer, when in some sections are installed bars, sand and hammocks for the so-called beaches of Paris.


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