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Photo Eric Lefeuvre, Mairie de Paris
[25/11/2004]
The overall policy practised by Paris City Hall aims to create a compromise between public health decrees and the economic activity generated by tourism, whilst taking changes in means of mobility into account. It results particularly in an improved handling of the coach presence in the city, one of the levers for this, being the organisation of parking on the public streets.

Each year Paris welcomes 26 million visitors of whom 60% are foreigners. Tourism is one of the city's important sectors in terms of employment, economic activities and international influence.Nevertheless, this activity also needs to make allowances for the desires expressed by Parisian men and women concerning an improved standard and quality of life, which are not always compatible with tourist coach movements and parking, particularly on the approaches to the more frequently visited sites.In fact, in peak season, there are nearly 2000 coaches travelling around and parking in Paris in the course of a day, which gives rise to real environmental issues.

In order to achieve greater harmony between the two aspects, the Municipality of Paris in concertation with professionals involved and The Paris Police Headquarters, has decided to re-examine the arrangements
governing the tourist coaches.

The overall policy practised by Paris City Hall aims to create a compromise between public health decrees and the economic activity generated by tourism, whilst taking changes in means of mobility into account.It results particularly in an improved handling of the coach presence in the city, one of the levers for this, being the organisation of parking on the public streets.

The aim first and foremost is to control the presence of coaches as a means of tourist travel in the city and to offer viable alternatives to the travel and congress organisers for the conveyance of groups.

The new aims arising from these ideas have brought about the following initial measures:
-creation of a parking pass to facilitate and promote use of existing and often under-exploited parking areas (June 2003):
- posting of employees throughout the city who, within the main areas where passengers are dropped off and picked up, will be in charge of welcoming and directing coach drivers to the available designated parking bays.
- creation within Paris of new parking bays for coaches, on public streets. or outside them, mainly on peripheral ones.
- better surveillance to check that parking regulations are met
- creation of an information service on Internet designed for professionals, drivers and coach operators to make them aware of this service, parking possibilities and the on-the-spot traffic situation.
- creation of a speaker information server informing them of spaces available at that time in the main parking areas (June 2003).
- improvement of tourist-related signposting to facilitate legibility and comprehensibility, particularly for foreign drivers
- case by case study with the professionals about gaining access to each tourist site, to provide a solution suited to the local context and taking the needs of the local population into account.
- putting other transport alternatives in place such as the creation of river buses on the Seine in April 2003 in order to get to Notre Dame.

As a first stage in a more global overall plan to build quality tourism for the city and its inhabitants, this plan of action will be added to as and when concertations with the professionals happen over the coming months, particularly regarding the creation of supplementary parking laybys at entry points to the capital.

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