The short C'etait un Rendezvous might be one of the greatest automotive-related films ever for its ability to capture the excitement of driving at high speeds through Paris in the early morning. However, that movie is increasingly becoming a relic of a lost time, as the City of Lights continues to lower its speed limits. The latest plan from newly elected mayor Anne Hidalgo could blanket most of the city in a 30-kilometers-per-hour (18.64-miles-per-hour) limit with even lower speeds elsewhere.
Hidalgo's plan would exempt the roads along the banks of the Seine River and major streets leading into and out of the city. They would have a 50-kmh limit (31.07mph). However, in a handful of areas that mix pedestrians, cyclists and cars there would be a 20-kmh (12.43 mph) limit. Why even bother driving at that those speeds?
According to World Streets, the falling limits aren't new for the city. The road that rings Pairs recently reduced its speed to 70 kmh (43.5 mph) and about a third of the streets there already have the 18.64-mph limit. Hidalgo's proposal would just make those speeds far more prevalent.
The Parisian government believes that lowering speed limits could net huge savings with fewer serious accidents and lower vehicle emissions, according to World Streets. A previous plan there attempted to reduce the number of cars on the road and CO2 with an even-odd license plate driving ban, but it managed to last for just 24 hours before the scheme was scrapped. Clearly, the city is considering ways to cut emissions by whatever means it can. If someone wanted to recreate Rendezvous under the newly proposed speed limits, it might be faster to just hop on a bicycle and pedal.