Les embarras de Paris : ou l'illusion techniciste de la politique parisienne des déplacements

Abstract : A constraint, a windfall and a paradox now characterize mobility in Paris. The constraint is the growing congestion of a subway whose attendance has increased by 50% in 20 years even though its network has developed only slightly because the community hardly can afford the cost of such a development. The windfall is an equally pronounced drop in car traffic, as twenty-five years ago Paris saw 55% more travels by cars than at present. The paradox is that the main mode of travel in Paris - Parisians and commuters together - is neither the subway nor the car, but walking, which accounts for 50% of traveling even though streets grant it only a limited portion of their space. Is Paris nevertheless condemned to an increasing dysfunction of its mobility practices? Indeed, the subway, becoming more and more congested, becomes incapable of replacing car traffic, which can no longer continue its decline, even though said decline remains imperative to resolve a pollution that reaches alarming levels. As for walking, it is not able to substitute for the subway or the car, because of the distances covered by these two modes. Yet, in addition to these three traditional modes of traveling in Paris, the bike has appeared in recent years, which is perfectly suited to replace the car and the metro for most of the distances they cover in Paris. And if the bike started from almost nothing after its almost complete disappearance in the 1970s, its current explosive growth is making it a major player in Parisian transport, so much so that under less than ten years it will ensure more trips than the car. In order for it to be able to represent the solution to the current crisis in Parisian transport, it remains to be given its full place in street designs. Only by so doing will it be possible to avoid the thrombosis that threatens the subway, and the asphyxia that makes up Parisians' daily lives, whilst pacifying streets where the automobile will only have a secondary part.
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Julien Demade. Les embarras de Paris : ou l'illusion techniciste de la politique parisienne des déplacements. L'Harmattan, 2015, Questions contemporaines, série Questions urbaines, 978-2-343-06517-5. ⟨http://www.editions-harmattan.fr/index.asp?navig=catalogue&obj=livre&no=48137⟩. ⟨halshs-01507597⟩

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