View Full Version : Paris May Ban SUVs From City Streets

June 10th, 2004, 11:33 AM
Paris bid to ban designer jeeps

June 10, 2004

PARIS, France -- Bulky, gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles (SUVs) could be banned from the chic but traffic-clogged streets of Paris within 18 months following a resolution passed by the city council.

Denis Baupin, a leading Green party councilor who tabled the resolution, says the designer jeeps are "not suited to towns" and he could not understand why people drove the fashionable "off-roaders."

"They're polluters, they're space-occupiers, they're dangerous for pedestrians and other road users. They're a caricature of a car."

Deputy Mayor Baupin said Wednesday that the resolution could lead to a ban on the increasingly popular vehicles in about 18 months if it is included in an overall project to improve traffic flow in the city.

"We have no interest in having SUVs in the city. They're dangerous to others and take up too much space, " he said on Europe 1 radio.

The city council voted to urge Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoe to consider banning SUVs, which have become increasingly popular and now make up about five percent of the French car market -- just below the western Europe average.

Baupin said Paris, which has been setting aside more lanes for buses and bicycles since a Socialist and Greens coalition took over City Hall in 2001, could not legally ban SUVs outright.

"Our idea is to limit the circulation of the most polluting vehicles," he said. "That means SUVs and lots of other vehicles that don't meet European pollution standards."

Plane include banning 4x4s from Paris city centre during peak pollution periods, and denying their owners residents' parking permits. Off-roaders could also be banned from protected areas like the Bois de Boulogne and the banks of the river Seine.

The proposal, certain to be opposed by motoring groups, follows similar remarks by the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, who in May month described SUVs as "bad for London -- completely unnecessary" and called their owners "complete idiots."

Britain's Guardian newspaper reported a survey showing that just one in eight 4x4 drivers had driven their car off-road, and six in 10 never take it out of town.

The Guardian added that France caught on late to the vogue for SUVs, mainly because Renault, Peugeot and Citroen have not so far offered them.

But with luxury carmakers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche selling plush leather-upholstered 4x4s, the vehicles are an increasingly common sight in Paris's wealthier quarters. Sales surged by 11 percent in France last year.

2004 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.

June 10th, 2004, 11:40 AM
I hope they ban them from manhattan streets as well. People who drive them think that they can behave as nasty as the taxis do in the city and get away with it because they have the bigger car and you don't. I have so much experience with them. I hate them.

What happen to small cars where is easier to park and doesn't take too much space on the streets.

Back when I was in philly I was in my car waiting for my mom when she step into a store and this lady with her SUV was parking behind me and then she hit my car ( 2 door, 1992 Nissan).

You know what her response was? Oh I couldn't see you. :roll:

June 10th, 2004, 11:52 AM
I hope Manhattan takes it up as well. There is absolutely no reason for anyone working in Manhattan to actually drive on to this island. There is also no good argument for anyone living on the island to have one - including the mayor. The city's whole car fleet ought to be hybrid, Actually, it ought to be dissolved, but, if we must have it, make it hybrid.

June 10th, 2004, 01:54 PM
Does anyone know how SUVs came to be so popular?

(It wasn't an accident)

June 10th, 2004, 02:01 PM

Look how "popular" the station wagon and Minivan market is.

What stereotypes are attached with these things?

These vehicles have more room than a sedan, they are ficticiously "safer", and they are more "masculine" than the "Daddy-mobiles" we have had in the past.

To curtail this in Manhattan, and to add to the irony, these vehicles should be treated like the Trucks they are classified as. they should pay more to cross all bridges and tunnels, pay more at garages, and be forbidden in certain areas.

They should also not be allowed to park on the street.

One of the things that annoys me is looking at the full-size cars that are parking in my Garage and not being able to park next to them (or seeing the mark on my mirror that came from their door).


They are the ONLY reason I hope gas prices go to $4 a gallon.

June 10th, 2004, 02:09 PM
The minivan is part of the answer. It's popularity is well deserved, as the successor to the station wagon. When Chrysler introduced it in the 70s, it won car of the year. It should have become the dominant family vehicle, but it was overtaken by the SUV (which had a lineage back to WWII).

June 10th, 2004, 02:18 PM
Under current tax policy, the U.S. government grants massive tax breaks to purchasers of SUVs. The original intent of the provision was to increase capital investments by farmers and other small business owners who rely on light-trucks or vans (ie. construction companies). When this provision was added to the tax code, luxury passenger SUVs were not the market force they have become, and it appeared a good way to help small business owners by accelerating depreciation and avoiding a luxury-tax surcharge.1

Over time, however, this provision has developed into a loophole-a loophole big enough to drive a 6,000-pound SUV through. The problem has arisen largely because the tax code classifies vehicles by weight instead of function. First, a truck or van is defined as a vehicle that weighs more than 6,000 pounds.2 Before the advent of the SUV, this was a sufficient way to separate passenger automobiles from other classes of vehicles. The growth of the market for large, luxury SUVs, has dramatically expanded the number of what are essentially passenger vehicles weighing over 6,000 pounds. In addition, the weight classification for a passenger automobile is determined by the "unloaded gross vehicle weight," or the amount the vehicle weighs with nothing in it.3 SUVs are weighed according to the "gross vehicle weight" rating, which is the weight of the car itself plus the load the vehicle should be able to carry.4 This distinction makes it easier for certain vehicles to achieve the status of "light-truck" even if the actual vehicle weight is more in line with passenger automobiles.

Source: www.taxpayer.net

June 10th, 2004, 04:18 PM
U.S automakers in the 70s were in big trouble. Unlike Japanese automakers, they had not adjusted to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Laws(CAFE), and the cars that were produced were pitifully underpowered.

To attract baby boomers just entering the auto buying market, their appetites whetted by the muscle cars of the 60s, a quick fix was used ( the loophole mentioned above) to increase horsepower without paying a penalty from CAFE. But besides producing them, they had to convince peole that SUVs were the perfect family "car." Madison Ave did a brilliant job.

The pre 70s SUVs were not as unsafe as todays models only because they did not have the powerful engines that allow people to drive past the vehicle's safety limits. They were slow, had low-end torque, 4-wheel drive, and cheap paint jobs, so you didn't worry about scratching them when off-road.

Today, less than 10% of SUV owners ever take them off the pavement, or tow anything.

June 10th, 2004, 04:43 PM
Today, less than 10% of SUV owners ever take them off the pavement, or tow anything.

But, pretty much 100% will talk on handheld cell phones while driving, deny pedestrians right of way, and use their SUV to drive into Manhattan alone.

June 11th, 2004, 02:07 AM
The minivan is part of the answer. It's popularity is well deserved, as the successor to the station wagon. When Chrysler introduced it in the 70s, it won car of the year. It should have become the dominant family vehicle, but it was overtaken by the SUV (which had a lineage back to WWII).

Ok the problem is that the minivan and the station wagon was intended to carry families around. Young people did not though of owning one until they had families to carry them around.

The SUVs on the other hand it is not being use to just carry families around anymore which it is its purpose. I see more and more family members owning two SUVs and more cars in the suburbs. The father and the mother each have one SUV's. They drive it everywhere with just one person in it not just for families getaways but to go to a store.

June 11th, 2004, 02:30 AM
I don't know a little help from some one who shares hate for the 'beloved' SUVs.


June 13th, 2004, 06:09 AM
I'm not sure if the term "SUV" is the equivalent of what we in Australia call "four-wheel drives" but I am sure they're equally menacing and troublesome. To own a 4WD here is a big status thing (along with owning a matching big house). They're everywhere, these days. Perth drivers are not known for their courtesy and respect for others, especially pedestrians, but drivers of 4WDs seem to be one up on the rest in this respect. I can understand (just) a family with several children having a legitimate use for one but I don't think I've ever seen one occupied by more than the driver. There was some talk of taxing drivers using them in the inner city but, perhaps predictably, nothing came of it.