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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 124 Comments
      rsholland
      • 6 Months Ago
      Might as well walk. :(
        Basil Exposition
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        I think that is what they are going for.
        Jim R
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        And that is the whole point of this rule change. Make driving enough of a pain in the ass that you're better off walking, biking or taking public transit.
        mycommentemail
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        Might as well walk :)
        mycommentemail
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        Might as well walk :)
        Ziv
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        It is called New Urbanism and it is coming to a city near you.. Make driving as slow as taking a bus by narrowing the intersections and adding toe outs to prevent you from turning right if there is a car in front of you. Then you reduce the speed limits, for the children, of course. Then you eliminate the left turn lanes so that one car turning left blocks half the traffic going one way on a 4 lane street. You get extra bonus points if you put a bus stop oppo the stop light so that a slow boarder and a car turning left stop all traffic for the length of a green light. When apartments/condos are built make the parking garage small enough so that every 2 or 3 bedroom condo can only get one parking spot.
        Ziv
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        It is called New Urbanism and it is coming to a city near you.. Make driving as slow as taking a bus by narrowing the intersections and adding toe outs to prevent you from turning right if there is a car in front of you. Then you reduce the speed limits, for the children, of course. Then you eliminate the left turn lanes so that one car turning left blocks half the traffic going one way on a 4 lane street. You get extra bonus points if you put a bus stop oppo the stop light so that a slow boarder and a car turning left stop all traffic for the length of a green light. When apartments/condos are built make the parking garage small enough so that every 2 or 3 bedroom condo can only get one parking spot.
        Ziv
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        It is called New Urbanism and it is coming to a city near you.. Make driving as slow as taking a bus by narrowing the intersections and adding toe outs to prevent you from turning right if there is a car in front of you. Then you reduce the speed limits, for the children, of course. Then you eliminate the left turn lanes so that one car turning left blocks half the traffic going one way on a 4 lane street. You get extra bonus points if you put a bus stop oppo the stop light so that a slow boarder and a car turning left stop all traffic for the length of a green light. When apartments/condos are built make the parking garage small enough so that every 2 or 3 bedroom condo can only get one parking spot.
        Ziv
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        It is called New Urbanism and it is coming to a city near you.. Make driving as slow as taking a bus by narrowing the intersections and adding toe outs to prevent you from turning right if there is a car in front of you. Then you reduce the speed limits, for the children, of course. Then you eliminate the left turn lanes so that one car turning left blocks half the traffic going one way on a 4 lane street. You get extra bonus points if you put a bus stop oppo the stop light so that a slow boarder and a car turning left stop all traffic for the length of a green light. When apartments/condos are built make the parking garage small enough so that every 2 or 3 bedroom condo can only get one parking spot.
        Ziv
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        It is called New Urbanism and it is coming to a city near you.. Make driving as slow as taking a bus by narrowing the intersections and adding toe outs to prevent you from turning right if there is a car in front of you. Then you reduce the speed limits, for the children, of course. Then you eliminate the left turn lanes so that one car turning left blocks half the traffic going one way on a 4 lane street. You get extra bonus points if you put a bus stop oppo the stop light so that a slow boarder and a car turning left stop all traffic for the length of a green light. When apartments/condos are built make the parking garage small enough so that every 2 or 3 bedroom condo can only get one parking spot.
        Ziv
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rsholland
        It is called New Urbanism and it is coming to a city near you.. Make driving as slow as taking a bus by narrowing the intersections and adding toe outs to prevent you from turning right if there is a car in front of you. Then you reduce the speed limits, for the children, of course. Then you eliminate the left turn lanes so that one car turning left blocks half the traffic going one way on a 4 lane street. You get extra bonus points if you put a bus stop oppo the stop light so that a slow boarder and a car turning left stop all traffic for the length of a green light. When apartments/condos are built make the parking garage small enough so that every 2 or 3 bedroom condo can only get one parking spot.
      Pj Taintz
      • 6 Months Ago
      man my car can do 10-15 with my foot off the gas after a few seconds, 18 MPH??
      Barry Hubris
      • 6 Months Ago
      Anyone who has driven in Paris know that nobody follows the limit.
        JaredN
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Barry Hubris
        That used to be true, but the proliferation of speed cameras in Paris is changing that.
      SloopJohnB
      • 6 Months Ago
      How to enforce those speed limits on Turks and bicycles? I remember one year when the Turkish team was winning in the World Cup and traffic went berserk around the Eiffel tower…. Bicycles definitely go faster than 12mph….
      Bernard
      • 6 Months Ago
      At that point they might as well ban cars in Paris. People on bikes will be moving faster than that.
      inthelv
      • 6 Months Ago
      Los Angeles used to be so cloaked in smog you couldn't see because of the stinging in your eyes. Feds stepped in and now the air is clean and the speed limits higher than ever. Maybe it's all those nasty diesels? Lack of regulation? Seems to me the regulations the tin hats are always moaning about actually save us not only money but keep us from worse regulation in regards to speed etc...
      1guyin10
      • 6 Months Ago
      Maybe they should just have everyone ride horses.
        ij
        • 6 Months Ago
        @1guyin10
        The smell of fresh manure early in the morning?
          Chris
          • 6 Months Ago
          @ij
          Not to mention the horse carcasses on the sidewalks and roads... Should one decide to croak right outside your home or place of work on a warm summer day then you had better hope and pray that the guys with the dead horsey wagon arrive sooner rather than later or the smell of manure will become the least of your concerns.
      Matt Frawley
      • 6 Months Ago
      Texas State is 85 MPH THUMB UP!!! Paris is 20 MPH THUMB DOWN!!!
      Mercennarius
      • 6 Months Ago
      And yet we still have 85MPH(137KPH) speed limits here in Texas. Remind me to NEVER move to Paris!
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Mercennarius
        Right, let me try to explain. Paris is a city in France, which is a country very far away. In France (the country), there are roads called autoroutes, much like your freeways, where the speed limit is 130km/h. Paris (the city) has narrow streets with these things called pedestrians and bicycles (you can look those words up) which share the roads with the cars. If the cars were to drive at 130km/h in the centre of Paris, there would be what are called "accidents" and "deaths". That would be a bad thing.
        mycommentemail
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Mercennarius
        Hey there, Don't move to Paris. Also: Paris is a city. Texas is a state. Just fyi.
        Barry Hubris
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Mercennarius
        If you've been to France you know they drive deliciously fast all over Paris and the country. Toll roads in the south of France are beautiful, curvy and FAST. Totally unlike Texas.
          Chris
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Barry Hubris
          Mercennarius, Paris and San Antonio are very different cities. Paris became a prominent city centuries before the automobile even existed, while San Antonio, a city with a much larger footprint than Paris experienced most of its growth during the post war era. San Antonio is also a much smaller metropolitan area than Paris as well. Area: Paris = 40 sq mi San Antonio = 465 sq mi Pop: Paris = 2. 2 million San Antonio = 1.4 million Metro: Paris = 12.2 million San Antonio = 2.2 million
          Barry Hubris
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Barry Hubris
          Got a downgrade for saying something positive about France's awesome roads or about the crappy roads of Texas? If you're downgrading, odds are good you've not driven both. European roads are just leagues beyond what we get in the USA.
          Mercennarius
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Barry Hubris
          You got a thumbs down because you obviously know nothing about Texas roads. I can drive 10 minutes out of San Antonio and hit the hill country with some of the best curves and roads to enjoy on a beautiful Texas day. I can then drive 30 minutes north to get on an 85MPH to drive right through Austin. Texas has the best roads in the US. Come drive through the hill country and tell me the twists and curves along with the great scenery are not great driver roads.
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Mercennarius
        Right, let me try to explain. Paris is a city in France, which is a country very far away. In France (the country), there are roads called autoroutes, much like your freeways, where the speed limit is 130km/h. Paris (the city) has narrow streets with these things called pedestrians and bicycles (you can look those words up) which share the roads with the cars. If the cars were to drive at 130km/h in the centre of Paris, there would be what are called "accidents" and "deaths". That would be a bad thing.
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Mercennarius
        Right, let me try to explain. Paris is a city in France, which is a country very far away. In France (the country), there are roads called autoroutes, much like your freeways, where the speed limit is 130km/h. Paris (the city) has narrow streets with these things called pedestrians and bicycles (you can look those words up) which share the roads with the cars. If the cars were to drive at 130km/h in the centre of Paris, there would be what are called "accidents" and "deaths". That would be a bad thing.
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Mercennarius
        Right, let me try to explain. Paris is a city in France, which is a country very far away. In France (the country), there are roads called autoroutes, much like your freeways, where the speed limit is 130km/h. Paris (the city) has narrow streets with these things called pedestrians and bicycles (you can look those words up) which share the roads with the cars. If the cars were to drive at 130km/h in the centre of Paris, there would be what are called "accidents" and "deaths". That would be a bad thing.
        Spec
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Mercennarius
        Yeah, but much of Texas is big empty desolate prairie or desert. Paris is a dense city with millions of people. You can't drive through the city streets of Houston, Dallas, Austin, etc. at 85mph.
        Chris
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Mercennarius
        Comparing an area of 40 square miles to one of 268,000 isn't really fair.
      ij
      • 6 Months Ago
      Import rickshaw from Vietnam. ☺7
      Avinash Machado
      • 6 Months Ago
      What about a congestion charge like London instead?
      Tristangwb
      • 13 Days Ago

      That's a bad good idea. Anyone who knows anything about driving (or even riding a bike) knows it isn't always speed that matters for pollution but efficiency. You can go along at 30mph in 5th gear and be polluting 3x as much as at 60. Every engine has it's optimal working range and so every car is different.

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