Paris readies for SUV parking fee referendum

Paris is set for another city-wide referendum, this time on increasing parking fees for heavy SUVs, announced Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Tuesday. This move follows determined efforts by the city

to address the increasing size and weight of cars, especially SUVs, which take up significant space and are deemed accident-prone, bulky, and polluting. The referendum, scheduled for February, marks the second city-wide vote on urban issues.

In April, Parisians voted to ban rental e-scooters from the capital. SUVs, weighing 2,700 kilos or more, have become a concern due to their substantial size and weight, making up a considerable portion of new passenger car sales in the European Union.

The proposed fee increase aims to tackle the dominance of these vehicles in Parisian spaces. However, if approved, it won't impact SUV owners with residential parking permits issued by the city.

Hidalgo emphasized the need to curb the trend of "gigantism" in the automotive industry, hoping to encourage a shift toward cleaner mobility and create more pedestrian-friendly streets and school areas. The referendum signifies an attempt to reclaim public spaces for cleaner modes of transportation, aiming to improve the overall quality of life in the city. Photo by Autosdeprimera, Wikimedia commons.

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