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Eiffel Tower: the prefect of Paris puts the kibosh

The Paris police headquarters are against it. In a letter dated Tuesday, May 10 and revealed by Le Parisien and of which AFP was aware, Didier Lallement informed the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo of his “opposition” to the disputed redevelopment project between the Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower which would cause major traffic problems. “I inform you of my opposition to this plan to restrict traffic in the Eiffel Tower sector”, writes the prefect. “Therefore, I will not co-sign any regulatory measure formalizing a modification of the traffic and parking policy related to this project”, he adds.

The OnE project chosen in 2019, for which the town hall is now counting on a budget of 107 million euros, was adopted in early February by the left-wing majority in power in Paris. It aims in particular to reduce the space occupied by cars on either side of the Pont d’Iéna, destined to become “the first vegetated bridge in Paris”, as well as the creation of a “vegetated amphitheater” on the Place du Trocadero, where traffic will be reorganized in a half-moon, and a planted promenade on the Quai Branly. “The closure to general traffic of the Pont d’Iéna will generate significant traffic reports on the Alma, Grenelle and Bir-Hakeim bridges and, to a lesser extent, on the Alexandre III and Concorde bridges”, says the prefect, based on the results of a study commissioned by the town hall in February 2020.

The town hall “very surprised by this turnaround”

On the Place du Trocadéro, the new development will also lead to “restraints” on the roads that serve it and could hinder the intervention of the emergency services “in the event of a disaster at the Palais de Chaillot”, he said. Contacted by AFP, the deputy mayor (PS) for town planning Emmanuel Grégoire said he was “very surprised at this turnaround”, which he considers “political”, “knowing that the police headquarters has given favorable opinions at all stages of the project. Anne Hidalgo “intends to speak directly about this subject with the future government” in order to “settle politically” rather than legally the file, adds the first deputy. “Commitments have been made so that this five-year term is more committed to the climate cause”, underlines to AFP the City of Paris which judges “very surprising that a senior official takes a decision going against the fight against air pollution” and hopes that this position will be reviewed.

The mayor (LR) of the 7th arrondissement Rachida Dati rejoiced on Twitter that the prefecture “takes into account” the observations of the right-wing opposition, very mobilized against this renovation project for the 2024 Olympic Games. End of April , the felling planned at the foot of the Eiffel Tower of some twenty trees, some of which are very old, as part of the project to allow the construction of luggage storage and premises for employees, has sparked such controversy that the town hall de Paris gave it up in a few days. In the fall, an electronic public consultation on the OnE project collected 6,000 contributions, the vast majority of which expressed opposition to the project. Among them, the association of Friends of the Champ-de-Mars for whom the postponement of traffic generated by the project “risks being critical”, according to its president Jean d’Izarny-Gargas, contacted by AFP.

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