This isn't Amsterdam.
December 6, 2016 7:50 PM   Subscribe

 
Paris, je t'aime.
posted by alex_skazat at 8:32 PM on December 6, 2016


This makes me so happy, the pollution here can get so bad.
posted by ellieBOA at 9:30 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Isn't that where The Highlander lives, on that barge?

: )
posted by Beholder at 10:13 PM on December 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Isn't that where The Highlander lives, on that barge?

On the other side of the river at the Port de la Tournelle. For more Parisian Highlander locations the internet provides, My Self-Guided Highlander Tour Of Paris: Parte Prima. Part Deux answers the biggest question he gets; Where was the Highlander's barge briefly moved during the second season? Spoiler Alert, it was the Bassin de la Villette.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:53 PM on December 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is basically what happened to Harbor Drive, the freeway that was removed from downtown Portland, Oregon to create the Tom McCall Waterfront Park on the Willamette in 1974.
posted by Corduroy at 1:33 AM on December 7, 2016


Yay they let us vote on this last year and so happy it's going through!

Bike usage has increased in Paris too, and on days like yesterday and today where pollution is spiking, public transportation is made free for everyone.

While this Franco-Oregonian appreciates acknowledgement of Oregon's progressiveness in many things, this expressway in Paris is a bit more heavily-trafficked than Harbor Drive was. As I like to tell French people who've never heard about Oregon: it's half the size of France and there are three million of us, of whom half live in Portland. Meanwhile, about 13 million people live in Paris and its suburbs. The 'burbs count since that's majoritarily who uses transportation, and as an example, in the space of half an hour I can walk from Neuilly (western Paris) to Puteaux, Nanterre, Courbevoie, La Garennes-Colombes, and Colombes, i.e. five different suburbs. They're small. I mean, I hit three different 'burbs every day just by walking to lunch (Puteaux, Courbevoie, Nanterre).
posted by fraula at 1:41 AM on December 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Top comment: The sure sign that too many poor people have cars is the elite try to ban them.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:49 AM on December 7, 2016


Bike usage has increased in Paris


I used Vélib' while there and it was amazing in terms of how easy and how much it enhanced the visiting experience. It contrasted well with Barcelona's closed system.

These types of projects are becoming more and more common (I believe Seoul converted a huge viaduct I think) and they're often exactly what cities need. Also, the more they succeed, the more easily they can move through traditional political/regulatory friction.

I've said this before on here, but while the Big Dig was laughed at nationally as some kind of boondoggle, it in fact is a hugely successful urban design (not transporation) project that will return an enormous positive benefit both economically and socially for the City of Boston.

(It was also a boondoggle, but that's just the cost of doing business)
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 5:10 AM on December 7, 2016


France and the U.K. both have more passenger cars per person than the U.S.

That is incredibly surprising to me.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:21 AM on December 7, 2016


Are pickup trucks not counted as passenger cars in the US? That could explain the higher density numbers in France and the UK.
posted by Harald74 at 5:28 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've said this before on here, but while the Big Dig was laughed at nationally as some kind of boondoggle, it in fact is a hugely successful urban design (not transporation) project that will return an enormous positive benefit both economically and socially for the City of Boston.

Yeah, but whereas Paris is shutting down roads and generally making car use unattractive, Boston just buried its problem.
posted by indubitable at 6:04 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Are pickup trucks not counted as passenger cars in the US? That could explain the higher density numbers in France and the UK.

You are correct!

Vehicles per capita, "Please consider that car is different from road motor vehicle as the latter includes automobiles, SUVs, trucks, vans, buses, commercial vehicles and freight motor road vehicles":
1. San Marino
2. Monaco (can't stop laughing, I worked there and good lord do they go crazy)
3. USA
[...]
19. France

Passenger cars per capita:
1. Italy
2. Germany
3. France
4. Spain
5. USA
6. Japan
posted by fraula at 6:11 AM on December 7, 2016


Ahem. The Atlantic article is tricksy; I only noticed on reading all the way to the very end: ...the gist is that this data includes all "passenger vehicles," which means cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and minibuses.

So it would indeed appear that even when pickups are counted, Western Europe still comes in ahead of the USA. Not too surprising – when I lived on the Riviera, I was shocked at how many people were happy to spend half an hour driving their kid two kilometers to school. "Why not take the bus?" – "And look like poor plebes?!?!" was basically their response. It's a bit of a tangent, but France has issues to work through when it comes to their post-revolutionary personal conceptions of hierarchy. Roughly summarized, while politically there are admirably egalitarian policies, on a private level, it's a country that still believes in royalty versus the plebes (adjust metaphors as necessary, but historically speaking that's where the mindset comes from).
posted by fraula at 6:23 AM on December 7, 2016


Prerequisite for a city doing this: a functioning public transit system. The Paris Metro is unparalleled for its reliability, speed, and coverage of the city interior.
posted by Nelson at 7:28 AM on December 7, 2016


"Why not take the bus?" – "And look like poor plebes?!?!"

Maybe they'd be more comfortable riding the bus if they had stars on their bellies.

(It wasn't until I was an adult re-reading Dr. Seuss books to my children that I realized what an ascerbic yet shrewd observer of humanity Geisel could be)
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:22 AM on December 7, 2016


Yeah, but whereas Paris is shutting down roads and generally making car use unattractive, Boston just buried its problem.


If we had known how high the overruns would go, us Bostonians would have just nuked I-93 in town and replaced it with an ordinary street, and maybe used the opportunity to dig a train tunnel to connect North and South stations.

The benefit to not having an elevated highway there has been immense, and well worth it.

The cost of putting it underground, however, is a different matter.

On a more amusing note, 2 years ago, Boris Johnson, mayor of London, visited us to have a look at "depressing highways." He definitely came to the right place for that.
posted by ocschwar at 8:36 AM on December 7, 2016


i hope whoever looked at the banks of the seine and said "hey what a great fucking place for a highway" is currently being spitroasted in hell
posted by entropicamericana at 10:59 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


That would be Mayor Pompidou.

The same guy who almost made the Seine an expressway, with an onramp right in front of Notre Dame.
posted by ocschwar at 11:35 AM on December 7, 2016


The immediate shores of navigable waters were working industrial, utility, transportation and logistical areas for most cities, not for recreation or artisinal food and craft shopping. It made perfect sense to build roadways over them or (when the land was no longer strictly needed for its prior purpose) through them when the needs for roads increased. Where roads weren't needed and the prior purpose ditto, that land lay fallow for literally decades. Look at what was (or more importantly wasn't) going on the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront as little as ten years ago, or the south bank of the Thames ditto.
posted by MattD at 11:36 AM on December 7, 2016 [4 favorites]




The Atlantic article with the per capita numbers uses figures from the Carnegie study here, but the US figures are wrong, as noted in the comments of the Carnegie study. For the US, the Carnegie study only included "cars" and not all passenger vehicles. The figure for France can be calculated as 32 million passenger vehicles for 66 million people = 480 vehicles per 1000 inhabitants. For the US, there are 256 million passenger vehicles for 319 million people = 803 passenger vehicles per 1000 inhabitants. This also explains the extremely high consumption reported in the Atlantic article for the US.
posted by elgilito at 2:17 PM on December 7, 2016


I wonder how those figures are determined. I'm guessing current registrations which will give misleading figures depending on whether owning an unregistered car is a crime and whether you can drive unregistered vehicles on the street. There are probably lots of passenger vehicles registered in the US which don't actually get many miles annually. Not that the US is anywhere near France in these numbers how ever you slice it.

MattD: "The immediate shores of navigable waters were working industrial, utility, transportation and logistical areas for most cities, not for recreation or artisinal food and craft shopping."

Besides this remember before the advent and wide spread implementation of primary and secondary sewage treatment populated waterways weren't exactly desirable residential locations even when not used for industry.
posted by Mitheral at 5:34 PM on December 7, 2016


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