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SUVs are responsible for occupying significantly more space on the streets and emitting higher amounts of emissions compared to smaller cars says Locals.

Parisian Referendum on SUV Parking Charges:

Parisians have voted to triple parking charges for out-of-town SUV drivers in efforts to tackle road safety, air pollution, and climate change. The referendum held on Sunday saw 54.6 percent approval for measures aimed at reducing the presence of “heavy, bulky, and polluting” vehicles in the city center.

Parking Charges for SUVs:

Starting September 1st, gas or hybrid SUVs, and other larger vehicles weighing over 1.6 tonnes (1.76 tons), will be charged €18 (around $19.40) per hour to park in the center of Paris, and €12 (around $12.90) per hour in the rest of the city. The pricing also applies to electric vehicles weighing over two tonnes (2.20 tons), with exemptions for taxis and city residents.

Environmental and Safety Rationale:

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Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo campaigned for the referendum citing concerns over pollution and pedestrian safety. SUVs are highlighted as particularly polluting and dangerous in collisions, with Hidalgo referencing a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) study. The aim is to create a safer and healthier environment for residents, particularly children.

Low Turnout and International Attention:

Turnout for the referendum was low, with only 5.7 percent of registered voters participating. However, the vote has drawn attention from other capital cities like London, facing similar challenges. London Mayor Sadiq Khan expressed openness to adopting successful policies from other cities.

Hidalgo’s Environmental Agenda:

The increase in SUV parking rates is part of Hidalgo’s broader efforts to promote environmental sustainability. Previous measures include improving cycling infrastructure, implementing traffic-reducing zones, and banning rental electric scooters to enhance pedestrian safety. The removal of rental scooters is noted to have brought about a sense of calm and liberation, which Paris aims to continue by reducing SUV presence in the city center.

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