One of the first things I noticed when I went to Paris for the first time was how much wider and straight the streets are compared to London. It was nice to feel like there was some breathing space, even though Paris is a massive city itself. However, when I returned in May, I experienced the full force of Parisian traffic. It was nuts.
I found this article on Fast Company on how the French capital is approaching their traffic and smog issue. They’ve already reduced it by 30% since 2000 when emphasis was put on better public transportation to encourage people to stay off the roads. Now they are pushing to turn two major thoroughfares into bicycle and tram only streets.
It’s something London has discussed quite a bit, and arguably would benefit more from due to those small, winding streets I mentioned before. My question is what’s the advantage to driving in a major city anyway? All you do is sit in traffic, and when there isn’t any the speed limit is about 35 mph.
I see high-end cars all over London. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Jaguar, and all the other major names are represented. But having one of those and driving in London is like buying Mr. T levels of gold chains. They’re just show pieces. You’ll never drive them over 50 mph. I hope other cities take this cue, and roll with it.