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France: ZAPA - Several Cities Forbidding Motorcycles and Cars

  Posted at 08:00:00 AM
  File under  France Ecology
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Travelling
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You've got to ask yourself what goes on in the minds of politicians and civil servants. Judging from their actions, I'd say not much.

The latest bullet fired by the ecology movement and their associated political groups comes in the form of ZAPA, a French acronym which translated means Action Zones for Air Priority, i.e., a movement that has as purpose the banning of cars & motorcycles from the city centers so that people can breath again.

8 cities have signed up: Paris, Saint-Denis, Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Lyon, Nice and Clermont-Ferrand.

On May 3rd, the official publication listed which vehicles will be banned from the city centers: All motorcycles manufactured before 31-May-2000, and a limited ban involves all motorcycles and scooters made between June 1st 2000 and 30 June 2004. The ZAPA idea is that these groups of motorcycles (and cars, but they have different dates) are forbidden from entering the city.

These are not laws ... yet. In other words, at this moment, you can still enter the city, but the politicians and technocrats are working very hard to push the laws into the system. In the mean time, Clermont-Ferrand and Grenoble are having second thoughts, since the politicians, as usual we hasten to add, have not thought things through. If cars and motorcycle are blocked from entering cities, they will a) need to beef up public transportation in order to allow frequent shuttles, 24/7 (something that is not the case, e.g. the famous Paris metro stops working at 1 AM), and b) what do people do if they need to go to the city supermarket, or hospital?

Several associations are fighting this new and very stupid law. It's a law that makes no sense, requires a fortune in investment, will make shops in the city loose a lot of money, and most importantly, will favor rich people while the people who can not afford to buy new vehicles will suffer.

On the 12th of June, the cities involved will have to say when they will start adopting the new rules. So if you ride a vintage motorcycle or scooter, you'll not be able to ride into these cities. Their loss.

Let's see if common sense prevails, but somehow, I don't think so. We will keep you informed.

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