A week after proposing to green the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, it launched without the prior green light from the State.

The former PS presidential candidate is determined to turn the page on her disastrous first-round score (1.74%) by resuming the initiative and the major issues of her second term, which runs until in 2026.

And this all the more so since that of the redevelopment of the Eiffel Tower has just suffered two hard blows, between the renunciation of the felling of trees at the foot of the Iron Lady - to build buildings - and the opposition of the prefect police Didier Lallement.

The elected socialist has therefore put a boost on another ultra-sensitive subject, the transformation into an "urban boulevard" of the ring road, earning her to be immediately accused on the right of carrying out "an anti-suburb policy".

Ten hectares up for grabs

Several mayors from the inner suburbs, mostly on the left, came to support the project on Wednesday during a press conference where Ms. Hidalgo confirmed that the "Olympic way" reserved for participants in the 2024 Olympic Games would then be made permanent and reserved for buses, taxis and carpooling.

According to his assistant (EELV) for mobility David Belliard, encouraging carpooling could make it possible to remove 80,000 vehicles from the 35 km circular axis.

By 2030, the device will no longer have four lanes as most often, but three, said Mr. Belliard.

The space gained - 10 hectares - will be for the benefit of trees, with 20,000 plantations more than the 50,000 already promised by 2024.

The advent of the "new green belt" will also go through the renovation of the gates of Paris: five "places" must be delivered and six committed by the Games, and seven others "entirely rehabilitated" by 2030.

Ms. Hidalgo thus wants to offer the 500,000 inhabitants living on either side of this fast axis a "more harmonious, more pleasant living environment".

The socialist mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, in Paris, May 10, 2020 Ian LANGSDON POOL / AFP / Archives

But the "delivery of new neighborhoods around" the ring road disturbs its environmental allies, who are calling for a "moratorium on construction" until the effective transformation into an urban boulevard so as not to expose "residents and workers" to the pollution, underlined the elected EELV Émile Meunier to AFP.

Another point of disagreement with environmentalists: the lowering of the speed from 70 to 50 km/h that the latter claim.

"That's not the topic today, maybe it will come later," replied Ms. Hidalgo to AFP.

The state warns, the right opposes

Above all, although the ring road is a municipal infrastructure, Ms. Hidalgo cannot do without the state traffic agreement.

According to the police headquarters, the ring road is thus part of the routes for which the mayor of Paris must communicate to it "the draft modifications before their implementation".

"Only the principle of a reserved lane" for the Olympics "has been validated", underlines the prefecture.

"Ms. Hidalgo will talk about it with the future government," replies her first deputy Emmanuel Grégoire.

Ms. Hidalgo, whose first term had been marked by a long legal fight to transform the roads on the banks of the right bank into a pedestrian promenade, intends to carry out "all legal consultations" and promises to "listen" to motorists during a "mobility crossroads" organized in September.

"Not the slightest impact study has been added to the debate to analyze the consequences of such a decision for Parisians and Ile-de-France residents", castigated his opposition LR in a press release.

Radically opposed to the project, the right-wing president of the Ile-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, who at the end of 2021 organized an online consultation in which 90% of voters opposed the "deletion" of a lane on the peripheral, was quick to react.

In a press release, the region announces that it is seizing the National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP) so that a "real consultation is finally organized" on the subject.

"The City of Paris cannot persist in going it alone without at any time assessing the consequences of a permanent narrowing of the ring road", says the region for which 40% of the journeys on the ring road are from suburb to suburb, and 80% of users are non-Parisians.

© 2022 AFP

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