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Paris To Test Banning SUVs In the City

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the you-must-be-shorter-than-this-line-to-ride dept.

Transportation 509

thecarchik writes "Paris may be the first city to experiment with such a policy. Next year, it will begin to test restrictions on vehicles that emit more than a certain amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometer — the measure of a car's contribution to greenhouse gases. An official within the Parisian mayor's office, Denis Baupin, identified older diesel-engined cars and sport-utility vehicles as specific targets of the emissions limit. Residents and travelers have responded by buying thousands of electric cars, including the low-speed fiberglass G-Wiz — despite major safety concerns with the vehicle."

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Weather Alert (2, Interesting)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695042)

Heavy smug clouds are developing over Paris. Seriously though, isn't the pollution just move upstream when it comes to electric cars? Or have there been recent improvements in that regard?

Re:Weather Alert (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695066)

IIRC, paris/france gets most of its energy from nuclear power. So limited upstream pollution.

Re:Weather Alert (-1, Troll)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695754)

No, they could get most of their energy from nuclear power if all their listed reactors (including a couple of dismantled ones) were all operating at their maximum design capacity.
Reality is slightly different.
Even when everything is running perfectly smoothly they are running at less than the theoretical maximum emergency capacity, there are units offline for scheduled maintainance and there are the experimental plants that run sporadicly, then of course the dismantled plants that some pretend are still adding to the grid. Many of the plants are getting old, and many of the parts they share with most other thermal plants have unexpected downtime just like any other type of thermal plant of the same age and size.
The reality is not a nuclear fairy tale, but it is interesting and nuclear advocates with their head in the clouds should find out about it. If they do that discussions with them on nuclear power can get past the stupidity of 1970s nuclear propaganda writen by advertising men that couldn't tell the difference between science and magic.

Re:Weather Alert (-1, Troll)

NetNed (955141) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695782)

Yeah but if you drive a G-WIZ like the article suggested and get in a accident you will spill the contents of the batteries on to the road way because it is a death trap that falls apart on impact. So all that saved "upstream" will be lost in whatever battery chemicals are spilled in accidents, which in a city like Paris I would think would be many per day.

Re:Weather Alert (5, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695786)

Wikipedia agrees [wikipedia.org] :

Nuclear power is the primary source of electricity in France. In 2004, 425.8 TWh out of the country's total production of 540.6 TWh of electricity was from nuclear power (78.8%), the highest percentage in the world.

Areva NC claims that, due to their reliance on nuclear power, France's carbon emissions per kWh are less than 1/10 that of Germany and the UK, and 1/13 that of Denmark, which has no nuclear plants. Its emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide have been reduced by 70% over 20 years, even though the total power output has tripled in that time.

Re:Weather Alert (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695136)

electric allows for energy source flexibility

with a gas fueled car, when the saudis decide you are paying $5/ gallon so they can send more money to islamic militant causes, you have no choice. with electric, you can get your electricity from coal plants belching acid rain and CO2, yes, but at least you are only funding mining barons in west virginia. but your electricity can also be from nuclear, or solar, or hydroelectric, or geothermal, or tidal, or wind... or whatever. the whole point being, you can still drive the same car, you have energy independence, as an individual, and as a society. you don't have to worry what gas prices will be in 2011 as demand rises and supplies get deeper and deeper. you don't have to worry about soccer moms in SUVs, when they fill their fuel tanks, funding al qaeda or hugo chavez or russian neoimperialism or.. shiver... canada (relax canucks, its just a dumb joke)

electric cars are just being smart and planning for the future. not that planning for the future is a concept many people are very familiar with. change makes people uncomfortable. well, brazil, and india and china are not shrinking economies, and the global economy is recovering. remember fuel prices before the economic collapse in 2008? if you don't you'll soon get a nasty reminder. buy an electric car now. you've been amply warned, don't be dumb

Re:Weather Alert (4, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695222)

with a gas fueled car, when the saudis decide you are paying $5/ gallon so they can send more money to islamic militant causes, you have no choice.

If you're American, surely you mean 'when the Canadians decide you are paying $5/gallon so they can send more money to hockey teams and French speaking welfare cases'?

You do realise that America gets twice as much oil from Canada as from Saudi, right?

No, I guess not.

Re:Weather Alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695330)

citation?

Re:Weather Alert (4, Informative)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695656)

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html [doe.gov]

Sneak peak:

The top five sources of US crude oil imports for September were Canada (1,936 thousand barrels per day), Nigeria (1,107 thousand barrels per day), Mexico (1,098 thousand barrels per day), Saudi Arabia (1,082 thousand barrels per day), and Venezuela (919 thousand barrels per day). The rest of the top ten sources, in order, were Iraq (422 thousand barrels per day), Angola (404 thousand barrels per day), Algeria (366 thousand barrels per day), Colombia (308 thousand barrels per day), and Russia (236 thousand barrels per day).

September 2010 Import Highlights: Released November 29, 2010

Re:Weather Alert (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695360)

I guess you stopped reading that paragraph you quoted before you got to the last line eh?

Re:Weather Alert (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695456)

I see that the biggest source of US oil is...the US.

Now who can we blame for high prices?

Re:Weather Alert (1, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695642)

i mnetioned canada. you should read, then respond. i am well aware of your oil sands. i will give you more credit than you have given me and assume you are also aware of the pollution involved in processing those sands

canuckistan supplies most of our oil, yes. however, giving money to canucks is not as frightening as giving money to wahabbis who fund al qaeda. thus the saudi bugaboo. so perhaps in the interest of american energy independence you canucks could do something unstable, like declare war on denmark or claim the north pole. canadians are just so... harmless and innocuous

Re:Weather Alert (5, Funny)

NF6X (725054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695766)

Your shift key doesn't fund terrorists. It's OK to use it.

Re:Weather Alert (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695154)

Also power plant waste heat can be sold, by enterprising power generators, to factories which essentially run off low/mid grade heat. Such CHP systems can have 60 - 90% efficiency. Or if you want to think of it another way. the factories get their heat and electricity is a byproduct.

Re:Weather Alert (4, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695344)

The big issue is that Paris sits in a river basin. On days without enough wind, the smog just sits over the city. It's pretty gnarly. Moving the pollution anywhere else is a big win because it becomes less localized, and impacts less people.

Re:Weather Alert (5, Interesting)

javahead76 (1855422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695370)

Electric "plants" are more efficient at producing energy than the combustion engines that cars use. I don't think there is anything recent about that.

Re:Weather Alert (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695394)

Gotta love it when slashtards SMUGLY criticize others for being smug. I know slashdot is all about ludditism when it comes to changes in technology, but for god sake cant you idiots have an open mind for anything without making up bullshit insults and excuses for what amounts to simply a fear of change?

Re:Weather Alert (0)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695732)

Personally I love it when people smugly complain about people complaining about smug. Even better when we do smug=smug+1 and prove that to be true (which is I guess what my post is). we can post these posts indefinitely and be useful!

I guess the real question is when does "smug" end?

For myself I consider this truly "smug" - that is people who are the primary source of pollution are projecting their issues on anyone they can rationalize as Teh Evil whilst doing nothing about the real issue. Yea, SUV's give out a higher proportion that than their usage would indicate, but when you are a small percentage of the usage it isn't going to make much difference. It is "smug" in that they hit an easy target that isn't going to do any good other than make people feel better about their choice that is the primary source of pollution yet allow them to continue doing what they have been doing. Even if they cut out *all* SUV driving it would be a drop in the bucket against the primary pollutant which they aren't going to touch with a 200 foot pole as too many will rebel against it (after all, you should be going against someone else as all those others are the ones that do not care - I *CARE* and that is worth a whole PILE of carbon credits and makes my greenhouse emissions be greatly cleaner!!!!!).

But yea, I guess I fear change and find myself a Slashtard. It *couldn't* be that, you know, I would like to see things actually change instead of give most people a warm fuzzy as we go into the abyss. But then isn't this France? Is there any entity on the planet that doesn't expect this behavior from them?

Re:Weather Alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695636)

Seriously though, isn't the pollution just move upstream when it comes to electric cars?

Electric cars can easily be run on alternative energy sources. If you live in the right area you can do this now.

Although even electricity from a normal coal power plant is cleaner than gas mile for mile.

Re:Weather Alert (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695672)

Is CO2 really the issue in the city??? CO2 is normally a global problem - seems strange to try to fix it with a very local ordinance. If they are worried about in-city pollution, then limit CO or nitric oxides or similar. If they want to fix CO2, then ban low mileage cars everywhere.

How much carbon ... (1, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695054)

... will producing all those additional 'city cars' people will need to buy consume?

Re:How much carbon ... (2)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695118)

Over the lifetime of the car, not much.

Re:How much carbon ... (1, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695216)

Over the lifetime of the car, not much.

We're not talking about people scrapping their fifteen year old SUV and buying a crappy 'city car', but having to buy a second car to drive in the city if they're not allowed to drive their SUV there.

Re:How much carbon ... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695262)

... will producing all those additional 'city cars' people will need to buy consume?

I think the most restricting factor will be the parking space for the residents of Paris - I imagine one can't afford to own multiple cars in Paris for this reason.

New business idea: "long-term-parking combined with rent/switch between SUV/small-car" on the outskirts of Paris: SUV-owners visiting Paris will let their SUV in parking and rent a small car, residents of Paris will park their small car and rent and SUV when needed.
This as a transition phase to a more extended "car pooling/sharing" scheme - I reckon the pressure will be enough to make such schemes profitable in about 15 years (smaller/cheaper cars + banning large cars in areas with high urban densities) - works well for bikes now.

Re:How much carbon ... (4, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695292)

... will producing all those additional 'city cars' people will need to buy consume?

If you live in Paris, you don't *need* a car, not now, not *ever*.

Not new. (4, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695072)

Many cities in Italy ban general auto traffic in the core downtown, for example Firenze. They have camera, if you drive in downtown and don't have the proper permits, a VERY expensive ticket arrives in the mail.

Re:Not new. (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695094)

Not really a big step forward from the many "Congestion" taxes that are out there. Try to drive a car anytime through the middle of London and see how much it costs you...

Re:Not new. (1)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695106)

it is one thing to ban all traffic, and another to ban certain classes of vehicles. Granted, I guess that is already done with restrictions on 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles.

Re:Not new. (2)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695224)

but those make some sense to rednecks and soccer moms, i think any big cars should require a different permit only for people with that many kids (suvs) or people who need it for their job(trucks) then they should lose their pivillages on the first volasoin

Re:Not new. (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695462)

It would be easy enough to do; require everyone who drives a vehicle over a certain size to hold a CDL, just like semi drivers do. A CDL isn't all that expensive to get in most places, but it takes a fair amount of skill -- you have to really prove that you can handle a vehicle that size. People who need a large vehicle for their work would get it, and there would be a few egotistical dickheads who would go to the trouble because they really, really want to drive a giant deathtank back and forth the work and the grocery store, but I guarantee you that the number of these monsters clogging up city streets would go way down.

Politically infeasible, of course, but I can dream.

Re:Not new. (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695280)

The "zOMG co2!" thing should get people riled up(at least here across the atlantic); but I suspect that this is(in the guise of being 'green'); basically just the same arrangement.

There are more and less efficient engine designs and(over short distances, if you don't count upstream emissions) even a main battle tank could emit zero co2 if it packed enough batteries; but, on average, this is basically going to target old cars(more likely to be noisy, lax on assorted noxious emissions) and large cars(more metal rolling, more energy needed. Period.)

It is an interesting quirk of French politics that you would bring up the co2 thing to make such a ban more palatable; but the effects of this proposal seem pretty much identical to most other schemes aimed at making dense cities more pleasant and less congested: all of them target big, loud, and noxious vehicles, through a mixture of either Orwellian cameras(Hi London!), landscaping changes aimed at 'pedestrianizing' the city, or just plain legal fiat backed by traffic cops.

In general, I get the impression that(at least among city dwellers, suburbanites commuting in are rather the target) such schemes are reasonably popular. Above a certain density, you just get smog-huffing gridlock that tends to grind out the vibrant street-level life of a city. Culling the more obnoxious vehicles, and replacing them with some mixture of better walkability, public transit, and smaller vehicles(sometimes as part of zipcar-like arrangements), tends to bring some of the charm back, and isn't too inconvenient in very high density areas. Trying to be the suburbs, when you are 10x or more as dense, just doesn't scale very well. Cities reacting against this trend are fairly common, though generally not by hitting co2 related metrics...

Re:Not new. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695474)

for example Firenze.

Just as Italians would use the word "Londra" for London, using "Firenze" instead of "Florence" when writing English is both incorrect and pretentious.

Re:Not new. (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695692)

Many cities in Italy ban general auto traffic in the core downtown, for example Firenze. They have camera, if you drive in downtown and don't have the proper permits, a VERY expensive ticket arrives in the mail.

Which you can then completely ignore because the Italian government is notoriously bad at record-keeping and they'll never make a serious attempt at collecting on the ticket or putting it on your record. I know people who have gotten dozens of these sorts of tickets and they just laugh and tear them up, even when they get pulled over by an actual officer the past tickets are never mentioned.

"Test Banning"? (1, Funny)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695084)

So how does this work?

If a SUV makes it through a blockcade, do they reconsider the ban?

Re:"Test Banning"? (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695510)

So how does this work?

If a SUV makes it through a blockcade, do they reconsider the ban?

Not knowing French politics; but I would assume the test will last until the next general election. If polls go badly, it will get revoked before the next election.

G-Wiz (3, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695176)

That's a completely useless article. There's basically no meaningful information until a footnote at the end that it's a rebadged, Indian made Reva.

Re:G-Wiz (4, Funny)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695556)

The author notes he is also the G-Wiz riders club something or other.

I remember the Reva's having a very interesting crash test video and of course the G-Wiz shares the same fate.

However, TopGear managed to get a slightly more humorous review of the G-Wiz.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtGp8Sha_mA [youtube.com]

hmmm (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695186)

the gwiz should be much safer after suv`s are gone

Re:hmmm (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695774)

The lack of large vehicles does not in any way reduce the effectiveness of the laws of physics. The reva/gwiz lack sufficient bracing as to protect the occupants in a moderate to severe crash. At least in the smart car tests it mostly just bounced around like a ball. The Reva appears to just collapse in on itself and the occupants.

Clean air?? (1, Insightful)

CodeInspired (896780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695192)

Ok.. ban the SUV's. But can somebody please do something about all the damn cigaarette smoke?

Re:Clean air?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695228)

We'll have to smoke overtime, to keep the city at its beauty.

Seriously, everyone else should conform for you? Get off your fucking high horse, and take three steps away from the person smoking. Im guessing they dont want anything to do with a pretentious ass like yourself anyways.

Re:Clean air?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695348)

Hmmm. Anti-SUV good; anti-smoking bad.

Re:Clean air?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695322)

Because it is responsible for several orders of magnitude less air pollution than vehicle emissions?

What next farting, bad breath and anything else that happens to offend your personal sensibilities, and all in the name of clean air.

Re:Clean air?? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695336)

Ok.. ban the SUV's. But can somebody please do something about all the damn cigaarette smoke?

;) Huh? The ciggies are carbon-neutral (obtained from plants), thus more env friendly than even a G-Wiz. This letting aside the taxes/accises collected from smokers far exceeds the taxes on gasoline/roads. ;)

Re:Clean air?? (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695536)

The solution is obvious. We need a tobacco-powered SUV.

Re:Clean air?? (1)

pseudofrog (570061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695542)

Gather fifty smokers, shove them in a garage, and tell them to chain smoke for twenty minutes. In another garage, turn on a gasoline-powered car and leave it running for twenty minutes. Which would you rather enter?

Major safety concerns, huh? (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695204)

Must be a conspiracy from the human extinction movement.

Re:Major safety concerns, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695540)

I actually find it funny how people think backwards. SUVs are not safer than the smallest compact cars, if all you have on the street are SUVs. SUVs and trucks are the vehicles that *cause* the damage in any crash - they are the ones that are the damage dealers. That does not make them safe.

If you actually think about cause of the crashes, it makes sense to downsize everything. IF everything you see on the road is small and light, fatalities would drop. Think F1 cars - light and small and very safe. If you downsize non-public transport in cities to bikes and scooters and 1 or 2 seater electric ultra-compacts, your road fatality rate would plummet..

On the other hand, most people think only that if they surround themselves with steal, they are safe because they *feel* safe. That type of thinking simply results in an "arms race" when one ups the other until all you have is APVs on the road. And let me tell you, you *do not* want to me in a head on crash between two APVs moving at 70km/h.

G-Wiz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695214)

I live in Paris. I never heard of G-Wiz before reading this news entry. I am not sure it is that successful here.

Re:G-Wiz? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695300)

I think that all the G-Wiz stuff was(poorly contextualized) speculation on the possible effects of the Parisian experiment; based on London's existing "congestion charge" program, which apparently sent their popularity soaring on that side of the channel. Not a gigantic shock, I suppose. They look pretty suitable for strictly in-city work, particularly if the vehicles large enough to crush them like insects have been brought to heel first...

As obnoxious as I find SUVs... (1)

superdude72 (322167) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695218)

I don't think this is a good idea. For example, I live in the Financial District of San Francisco, and find it obnoxious that some of my coworkers insist on commuting to work in their SUVs every day when BART runs trains to a stop two blocks from my office every 5 minutes during rush hour. On the other hand, I concede that there may be some circumstances where driving a large vehicle into the city might be justified. Why bar someone from bringing an SUV with six people in it, but permit someone to drive a slightly smaller vehicle carrying only one person? A congestion tax or toll seems a more reasonable approach.

Re:As obnoxious as I find SUVs... (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695390)

Why bar someone from bringing an SUV with six people in it, but permit someone to drive a slightly smaller vehicle carrying only one person?

The thing that I found striking in TFA: the ban mentions "amount of CO2 per kilometer" only not "per km and per person transported". Like what? The public transportation in Paris doesn't use buses powered by Diesel engines?

Re:As obnoxious as I find SUVs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695550)

You should re-read the TFA. It clearly states that the targeted vehicles haven't been decided yet. Busses would obviously be exempt.

Re:As obnoxious as I find SUVs... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695598)

Riiight...

Impose a bad metric (CO2/km) and then figure out heaps of exceptions to the rule to make it work.
How typical for bureaucrats... they'd even do it on purpose to justify their presence(by creating a chaos only they are able to manage) and grab the cash under the form of fees and fines (... that's how they show they can function in a profitable way).

Re:As obnoxious as I find SUVs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695604)

Many systems are electric within city limits (where it's easy to run the wires) and only switch to Diesel on routes without overhead wires. Many other systems use propane or natural gas extensively. They could also have "clean" Diesel buses that emit less soot than a typical city bus.

dom

Re:As obnoxious as I find SUVs... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695702)

Many systems are electric within city limits (where it's easy to run the wires) and only switch to Diesel on routes without overhead wires.

Thanks for the info, appreciated.

Many other systems use propane or natural gas extensively.

Is the CO2/km for any gas-powered bus lower than an SUV?

They could also have "clean" Diesel buses that emit less soot than a typical city bus.

My point is: the CO2/km seems like a faulty metric, as it is not a measure of "CO2 efficiency for the purpose" (e.g. public transport is more efficient even if a single bus emits more CO2/km than an SUV). As a consequence, banning vehicles based on it is bound to be sub-optimal (injecting more effort for they purpose of "CO2 efficiency" goal).

Re:As obnoxious as I find SUVs... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695612)

A French guy told me once that the local government which controls the centre of Paris has an ongoing battle over traffic with authorities who control roads in surrounding areas. Nobody wants the through traffic so this central part of Paris keeps coming up with schemes to make their roads unattractive, while not pissing their own residents off too much.

And how many SUV's carry 6 people to work? (5, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695634)

Really, show me ONE SUV that actually uses its space for the work commute. Oh okay, so you found one in ALL of France, big whoop. But I think that Americans just can't grasp the problem. Europe is SMALLER en the cities are just not designed with big cars in mind. For that matter most Europeans just don't get the American road system. The two areas work at a totally different scale. For instance, my own commute takes about 45 minutes... by bicycle, car OR train. Really. The travel time is NOT in the distance but in the waiting. The car gets stuck in all kinds of traffic jams, the train suffers delays on one of the most crowded rail networks in the world and of course you got to get to and from the train station by a bus service that doesn't connect and the bicycle... actually that one is pretty good a very straight line with just one big pothole with no lights around it.

And SUV's are not just another car. Forget for a moment the type of driver inside of them who tend to be major assholes, two SUV's passing each other in a narrow street, and old european cities are nothing but narrow streets, and the cars typically slow down to pass each other. They take just that bit more space say a meter in a bumper to bumper traffic jams. 4 SUV's and you could have fitted a whole extra car in the extra space taken by a SUV. Parking is the same. The drivers feel safer so take more risks, not only does this make the risk similar again but the death toll on pedestrians and cyclist increases thanks to the SUV driver.

London had the congestion charging and despite that fact that it was universally hated (or so the popular press tell us) it worked. The difference is staggering. But it wasn't popular. ANY law will have opponents. If you try to find a way to get anything done that won't upset anyone, you will never get anything done and THAT will REALLY upset people.

You just want an excuse, because ONE SUV was once found to actually have a full load for a work commute, ALL SUV's should be allowed to drive with one person in congested city centers totally unfit for such large cars. NIMBY must be your middle name.

Oh and a congestion tax would also hit low pollution vehicles. So if I drive a small electric car filled with passengers I get to pay the same as a SUV with just the driver. SMART!

Low-speed vehicles have been around a long time (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695240)

Low-speed vehicles have been around a long time. They're called bicycles. Paris has been embracing those, too, and I presume they do so despite the "safety concerns" touted by the international helmet brigade.

The real danger is high-speed vehicles that have "safety features" like airbags to protect the ignorant occupants, to the detriment of anyone else who might be using the road.

That and so-called licensing schemes that treat driving as a right instead of a privilege and let unsafe drivers on the road. Not sure how bad that might be in Paris, but it's pretty easy to get and hard to lose your license for bad driving in North America.

- RG>

Re:Low-speed vehicles have been around a long time (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695318)

When I learned to ski my dad taught to point a ski pole at anybody claiming to be out of control while mowing me down. I have used it several times and they always learn to steer immediately.

Along these lines my favourite safety feature for cars is a spike attached at one end to the front bumper and at the other end emerging from the steering column. Hit anything and the driver gets skewered.

Think it will catch on?

Re:Low-speed vehicles have been around a long time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695380)

I doubt it... an acquaintance of mine was hit head-on by a suspected drunk on a 2 lane highway. The spike would be nice for the drunk, but not for the hapless person who couldn't get out of the way.

Don't assume all drivers here in the US are mindless morons drinking Bud Light with one hand, putting makeup on with the second hand, and steering the vehicle with a tentacle. The safety features come in handy not just for the driver's mistakes, but for the people who are victims of other driver's bad judgment or lack of ability to control potentially dangerous machinery.

Oh, as for the pointing a ski pole... better pray no witnesses are around. You might skewer someone who has the ability to get lawyers to more than return the favor in a court of law. Gross negligence or proof of being malicious is not a good thing to get charged with, and you can't ever file bankruptcy to get around that in a civil court. In a criminal court, if the guy is close friends of a DA, you might get nailed for assault with a deadly weapon.

Re:Low-speed vehicles have been around a long time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695588)

When I learned to ski my dad taught to point a ski pole at anybody claiming to be out of control while mowing me down. I have used it several times and they always learn to steer immediately.

Right. Because people often pretend they can't ski just so they can plow into unsuspecting victims?

Re:Low-speed vehicles have been around a long time (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695734)

When I learned to ski my dad taught to point a ski pole at anybody claiming to be out of control while mowing me down. I have used it several times and they always learn to steer immediately.

Yes, and when I reach the bottom of the hill, I would beat you senseless.

What class of SUV? (1, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695246)

Of course, in Europe, few people will have full size Ford Excursions going down cobblestone [1] streets. However, what size SUV are they not wanting in Paris? There are pretty tiny SUVs, like the Honda CR-V which have better MPG than most cars. Would delivery vehicles be affected such as vans? Would they ban hybrid SUVs? There are full size SUVs like the Tahoe that come to mind. Would they ban everything but a "car-shaped" vehicle? If so, this would earn them a marksmanship award in footshooting.

IMHO, this is more of a PR stunt against American culture such as "yank tanks" than anything else. Who would drive a full size SUV like a Suburban around Paris? A smaller SUV such as a ford Kuga or a pickup like a Ranger would be actually drivable there. Are those the target of what gets tossed out of Paris?

[1]: Technically setts, but people call it cobblestone anyway.

Re:What class of SUV? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695276)

I can understand not reading the article, but you could at least read the summary. "that emit more than a certain amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometer"

Re:What class of SUV? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695342)

Kind of off-topic(ok, really off topic), but when I went to Austria back in winter '08, I was up at some little mountain village and I saw a Ford Taurus, with Austrian tags, and a license plate in the back window that was teh Confederate flag with "Rebel" written over it. That thing made my trip.

Re:What class of SUV? (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695574)

Austria/Germany ect have a long deep love of classical 1970'-80's US sitcom freedoms. The wide open spaces, family, cars, art, politics, frontier fun, hi tech ect as expressed by hollywood. Voiced over and beamed into every city and town every night.
As for France, the SUV thing could be internal protection for a bump to a new class of French car. You pay cash for your clunkers right to be in the city or pay cash for a new car.

Re:What class of SUV? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695646)

You know, everything is not about America. As shoking as it may be to you, most of the time, America is not even thought about when making a decision.

Re:What class of SUV? (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695758)

Are we reading the same article summary? The threshold is based on emissions, not a particular body style, e.g. "is thing X an SUV or not." The conundrums you posed are moot.

Bumpers (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695258)

Drivers in Paris park bumper to bumper and the way to get out of a parking spot is to ram the cars in front and behind of you until you have space to pull out. They drive these little light cars and the bumper bars (US people would say fenders) are all scuffed. My car has a tow bar so you couldn't do that but nobody where I went in Paris seems to use them.

Re:Bumpers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695282)

Drivers in Paris park bumper to bumper and the way to get out of a parking spot is to ram the cars in front and behind of you until you have space to pull out. They drive these little light cars and the bumper bars (US people would say fenders) are all scuffed. My car has a tow bar so you couldn't do that but nobody where I went in Paris seems to use them.

Just one of the reasons why in most European countries the words "inconsiderate prick" are synonymous with "French driver".

Re:Bumpers (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695368)

Drivers in Paris park bumper to bumper and the way to get out of a parking spot is to ram the cars in front and behind of you until you have space to pull out. They drive these little light cars and the bumper bars (US people would say fenders) are all scuffed. My car has a tow bar so you couldn't do that but nobody where I went in Paris seems to use them.

Just one of the reasons why in most European countries the words "inconsiderate prick" are synonymous with "French driver".

My French colleagues assume me that the words "inconsiderate prick" are synonymous with "Parisian driver".

Re:Bumpers (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695306)

Didn't a French carmaker address this by having a set of wheels that would drop down, shoulder the vehicle's weight, and allow the car to move sideways? I remember this because it was a relatively simple way to address parallel parking, as opposed to having a computer do it for you. This way, instead of playing the ramming game, it was a simple manner of scooting out in the street, retracting the wheels and driving off.

Re:Bumpers (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695418)

The ramming game appears to work well enough.

Re:Bumpers (1)

MrBuds (1532949) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695422)

Most drivers in Paris knows how to park well without bumping, those who do that are mostly tourists (were you one of them ?) and old men who should'nt drive (i live there)

Re:Bumpers (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695466)

Most drivers in Paris knows how to park well without bumping, those who do that are mostly tourists (were you one of them ?) and old men who should'nt drive (i live there)

I never drove in Paris. In fact I have been driving in Australia for so long that the mere thought of driving on the right gives me the horrors.

Re:Bumpers (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695562)

Most drivers in Paris knows how to park well without bumping, those who do that are mostly tourists (were you one of them ?) and old men who should'nt drive (i live there)

Most of the parking I've seen in Paris backstreets is literally bumped to bumper - you couldn't fit a finger between the cars. There's no physical way to get a vehicle out without pushing the other vehicles away.

Re:Bumpers (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695468)

No, we call those bumpers as well. The fender is the body panel that wraps around the wheel well [wikipedia.com] .

Re:Bumpers (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695560)

Ah thanks.

mod uP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695274)

If they made a clean pollution free SUV. (-1, Flamebait)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695314)

I am the same sort of person who would want to ban regular SUVs but I would also want to ban one that runs on zero point energy. I consider the SUV to be a sign of the "rich spoiled overclass". They are big and obnoxious and very annoying.

I think the worst thing that could ever happen to humanity would be for it to develop a pollution free way to generate almost unlimited energy. Then the filthy beings on this plane that call themselves "human beings" would want to colonize and pollute the rest of the cosmos. We should have died out with the other species of humans that evolved from dirty smelly polluting monkeys.

We think we own the planet, we should bow to mother nature and die off like the evolutionary dead end we are.

Re:If they made a clean pollution free SUV. (2)

tjhart85 (1840452) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695480)

I notice you're not offering to be the first to "die off like the evolutionary dead end we are."

I'm sorry that things like SUVs don't meet your high standards of aesthetics, but too bad.

You say that they're a sign of the "rich spoiled class" but YOU consider them to be "big and obnoxious and very annoying." You sound a bit like the class you claim to not be a part of.

If you want to make a point, how about you back them up with something more than "I don't like it and I never ever will!"

If other beings "on this plane" wind up not liking the mess we make of the cosmos when we "colonize and pollute it", they can come talk to us then. Since we haven't even managed to colonize our own solar system, I don't think they have anything to worry about for quite some time. Once we do manage to fill up our solar system, it's still more than 4 lightyears to the nearest star, so even if we can achieve instantaneous light speed AND instantaneous braking, we'll STILL be 4 years away from the nearest star! IIRC, our sun is also the closest star to Alpha Centauri, so we'll still be AT LEAST 4 light years away from getting anywhere else (most likely more, but playing on the low end of the scale, it's still at least 4 years)!

Bad Idea (3, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695338)

CO2 per kilometer is a horrible metric. No biodiesel for them, then. It sounds like the point of this is to limit greenhouse gas emissions, but all it will really do is reduce fuel consumption and move the CO2 emission to other areas. That's what would happen in the US at least. We don't have as much nuclear power, and tend to consume more oil-based plastic goods than Europeans. Regardless, it's easy for well-intentioned regulations to have counterproductive effects.

Take this as an example. I have a 2.5 ton diesel truck that is over 40 years old. It gets pretty terrible gas mileage. But it's entirely possible that it will last another 40 years. I use it once every six months or so on average. I could buy a new truck. Buying a new truck would mean thirty thousand dollars worth of CO2-intensive manufacturing, steel parts and such. The new truck wouldn't last as long, and would need to be replaced probably within the next 20 years.

I could rent a truck instead. On average, that would cost about the same as the truck I already have, possibly more. Instead of driving directly to where I want to go, I would have to drive to the truck rental store, drive to where I want to go, drive home, drive back to the truck rental store, and then drive back home. And if I rent a truck, the proceeds would likely go to some employees and shareholders who use the money to increase their consumption of goods, food, gasoline and electricity all produced by emitting CO2 as well. So the net result is similar if not more CO2 usage.

Central economic planning is harder than it might seem.

Re:Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695504)

You're so smart you're dumb.

Of course what you're saying is correct, but you are missing the obvious point of the restriction. It's to clean up the city air IN PARIS, not to fight global emissions. Also it's an obvious money maker as they can start charging fees to folks over the limit.

You basically had a good argument except for that you didn't give it the correct perspective. But then your statement about renting leading to more emissions because the money will go towards scumbag consumers is absurd, so away with you.

As you said bad idea in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695564)

But this is about Paris/France with 75>% of electricity being nuclear (and aprt of the rest being renewable, not fully fossile fuel). Which make your whole post moot.

herd immunity. (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695356)

despite major safety concerns with the vehicle.

if everyone's driving around in GWizes, Yarises, and Smart ForTwos, what safety problem?

Re:herd immunity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695450)

Good luck towing a boat with a GWiz. Seen the crash videos for those cars? The best of them spin around like tops, and even though they mitigate the impact with airbags, the torque done by spinning around can affect the brain and spinal column like a baby after it got shaken. The worst of those vehicles have no crumple zones and would end up killing the driver even in a relatively low speed smashup.

I see this all the time -- people who think they know best and superior because they drive a small car. Guess what? People do more with vehicles than go from point "A" to point "B". Some have families, and good luck stuffing 2 kids in a Smart For Two (oh... these smug types will reply about how bad breeders are and how children are a nuisance.) Other people haul more than their laptop places. Want to get sheet glass windows replaced? Good luck with getting that in a Yaris.

Oh, before you get hoping for gas prices, remember that gas prices affect everything. Airlines have yet to get rid of the additional fees tacked on due to the gas price surge in '08. Even though the subcompacts may not have much fuel cost, every other item you buy will have their price affected by it. Ambulances and fire trucks don't run on stale farts.

Re:herd immunity. (1)

frist (1441971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695584)

Riiight, because all of a sudden asphalt and pavement get soft because everyone is driving a GWIZ deathtrap. Same with the trees and poles... The level of mental retardation caused by going green is just shocking.

Re:herd immunity. (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695738)

Asphalt being hard has no bearing on the safety of a small vehicle since you won't be driving into the road - what takes you across the road is your vehicles momentum, so larger vehicles would if anything be less safe in such a situation. As for trees, the smaller momentum of a smaller car requires less shielding in the front to stop a tree from crushing the driver, so a smaller car can well be safer than a big one - it depends on how well it is made. The one place where a bigger car is clearly safer is in a collision with another car, where a heavier car will be able to push a smaller car back, increasing the damage to the person in the smaller car. So a bigger car is safer in that it allows you to kill someone else in your own place. That safety problem with big cars disappears if no one is driving a big car, which is what the OP was talking about. In other words, you're the retard, and by starting the feces flinging from such an idiotic position as yours, you made yourself look even more retarded.

Re:herd immunity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695794)

Well, they could run into a bicyclist. Running into all that steel would likely push it right through the windshield, and the horn on a bike seat might be able to kill you.

Excellent ... (1)

bizitch (546406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695382)

... I can feel the earth getting cooler by the minute! ... oh wait a sec

Ban drive thru restaurants while you're at it (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695428)

they're big polluters, what with all that idling. Then again, I'm in the States. Does France even have those abominations?

Yes, well sorta (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695668)

They have cunnincly replicated the drive-thru setup but when the little window opens a French man shoots you through the head, scoops out your liver and turns it into pate. It was widely protested in the EU as inhumane until it was pointed out only the Touristus Americanus falls into this trap. The American ambassador was asked for comments but he replied he couldn't answer the phone now because he was in the line at a drive-thru and hasn't been heard from since.

Slashdot wishes it to be known that is does not condone the wholesale slaughter of Americans for their livers or other organs and that anyone who puts this idea into practice must do so without express approval from the world wide community of food lovers.

A very strange piece of news (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695464)

As a French man, reading the news every day, and living quite close to Paris, I've never heard about such a ban. neither have I heard about "thousands of electric vehicles" being suddenly bought by Paris' residents. Right now, French people are more interested in the end of the "prime à la casse", which is a financial bonus given for buying low emission vehicles, but we're talking gas powered cars, electric cars are nowhere to be seen on french roads and cities.

Paris planned innovation is a system of shared self-service cars (probably electric), which can be used for a few hours for a moderate cost, similar to what has existed for years for bicycles ('vélib', this has been a major success for Paris' mayor).

FUCKING NIGGERS!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695546)

oh yeah

Death traps (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695580)

Yes, sacrifice yourselves to the green gods. Buy a "smart car" or a fiberglass death trap so you can die and save the planet. But hey the air will be fresh at your funeral.

Been tried before - I think (1)

Harold the Wombat (462336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695706)

Not the first time I've heard of this sort of thing. If memory serves me correctly Bondi Council in Sydney, where residents need residential parking permits, would get theirs free if the car emitted less CO2 than a certain level, above that and you had to pay. In other words, pretty much all Toorak Tractors would have to pay. My question, which I never followed up because I'm not silly enough to live in that cesspit called Sydney, is what if you drive a 4WD and it's powered by biodiesel? The CO2 that is emitted is "recycled" back into crops for next years biodiesel, forgetting for the moment the whole energy efficiency argument of inputs Vs outputs.

An interesting thought that would keep a whole room of Arts degree holding bureaucrats busy for a year trying to work out how to respond!!!

Yeah, all in the name of clean air ... (2)

garry_g (106621) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695718)

They're already doing something similar in Germany's large cities ... depending on the emission classification of a car, all cars receive a red, yellow or green sticker (or none at all). Some larger cities have introduced so-called "environmental zones", with entry only allowed to cars with either red, yellow or green stickers. The level has been since tightened more or less every year, some cities already only allowing green-stickered cars in the center areas. This is supposed to bring down the fine particles amount down, which is (most prominently) created by Diesel engines.
Now, this might sound like a good idea, but there are a couples problems with it, in short: it doesn't seem to help at all ;)
Reasons for it not working are for example:
  • who is going to tell the particles to stop from entering the zones? While the city centers may have the environmental zones, cars with the worst emissions are still driving all around it ... wind and general diffusion of the air (and with it particles) will still enter the centers, even with the zones in place ... add to that air traffic which also creates particles which are generously distributed in the air, especially at take-off etc ...
  • vehicles like large trucks, busses and the likes (albeit not the smaller ones like delivery trucks) are excluded from the emission regulation, creating much more particles than many diesel cars without filters added together
  • cars are confirmed at only causing approximately 12% of the fine particles. The rest is caused by industry and houses (heating with oil) as well as the (exempt) trucks and airplanes

Now, while it doesn't actually work, the whole ordeal is causing several problems... for example:

  • introduction of the classification has devalued older, otherwise perfectly fine cars. E.g., cars as young as 5-7 years may not yet pass for the green sticker, requiring an additional filter in the exhaust system (which might not be available). This upgrade can still qualify for a payback from the state, but this only covers a fraction of the cost.
  • people most likely to be affected are lower-income, not able to afford a newer car. Plus, most likely, no upgrades might be available for their smaller cars as they are already low-emission (albeit not low enough to qualify for the stickers)
  • newer gas gusslers with bad fuel economy may qualify for green stickers, where small cars with good mileage may not ...
  • the Diesel exhaust filters cause an (albeit small) decrease in fuel efficiency through the restricting the exhaust flow. So you're improving air quality in one area, while causing certain other emissions to increase (just not the ones as easily measured and regulated by the EU)
  • older regular fuel cars which don't cause any small particles at all, but don't have a catalytic converter (or a very early one) don't qualify for a yellow or green sticker, because of course they aren't in the appropriate emissions class. So even though they do not cause ANY micro particles at all, they aren't permitted in the environmental zones in order to limit the particles in the zones ... sounds smart, right?
  • many privately owned car repair shops, which make quite a big part of their income on older cars and are located inside the zones can't have their customers come to them anymore if the cars don't have the appropriate stickers ...
  • there are incomprehensible, subjective laws in place through which one might (or might not) receive an exemption from the sticker law ...

So in essence, there is no proof (rather the opposite) that the introduction of the zones has helped any, there's lots of problems caused by the laws, and as usual politics will not drop this crap ... probably industry lobbyists would complain what they paid all the money for if it were dropped ... :(

ugg boots clearance appear over (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34695744)

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4. Agree on security questions with close friends and family so as to detect Death Eaters masquerading as others by use of the Polyjuice Potion (see page 2).
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5. Should you feel that a family member, colleague, friend, or neighbor is acting in a strange manner, contact the Magical Law Enforcement Squad at once. They may have been put under the Imperius Curse (see page 4).

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7. Unconfirmed sightings suggest that the Death Eaters may now be using Inferi (see page 10). Any sighting of an Inferius, or encounter with same, should be reported to the Ministry IMMEDIATELY.

Safety (3, Interesting)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34695800)

The safety issue really concerns me. I don't want people being forced by legislation to buy smaller, weaker cars, for city driving, because most people can only afford one car so they'll also be taking those same small, weak cars out on fast roads.

I'm a news photographer and I often attend accident scenes. As a rule, whenever there is an SUV involved, the occupants of the SUV survive and the occupants of the car _all_ die.

Renault Megane vs Range Rover. Both people in the Megane killed. Minor injuries in the Range Rover.
http://www.meejahor.com/wp-content/uploads/FatalcollisiononB9006CantraywoodtoCroyro_A156/FatalcollisionB9006CantraywoodtoCroyroad2.jpg [meejahor.com]

Vauxhall Corsa vs Mitsubishi Shogun. Both people in the Corsa killed. Injuries in the Shogun.
http://www.meejahor.com/wp-content/uploads/Newspaperphotosfromthelastfewmonths_CD67/A9Dalwhinniefatalcollision5of8.jpg [meejahor.com]

Vauxhall Astra vs Mitsubishi Shogun. All three people in the Astra killed. Minor injuries in the Shogun.
http://www.meejahor.com/wp-content/uploads/818q3025.jpg [meejahor.com]

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