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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paris To The Left, France To The Right

Posted by on Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 3:30 PM

A recent round of municipal elections has given the right wing in France a real boost, and they have public transportation in their crosshairs.

In [Toulouse and Strasbourg], the Socialist candidates wanted to build a tramway, while the centrist and center-right candidates wanted a more expensive metro that did not disrupt automobile traffic on the surface.

Right wing UMP candidate Jean-Luc Moudenc won the run-off election on Sunday, and claimed that incumbent Socialist mayor Pierre Cohen "wants to chase drivers out of the city." Are trams on the way out?

Trams elsewhere haven’t fared much better during the latest round of elections. “An object of desire through the beginning of the 2000s,” blogged Le Monde’s transportation reporter, “this small urban train, on which so many mayors have staked their reputations as builders, is now jinxed.”

Paris will be fine, of course, but trams in other cities might feel the hit. Across the world, two political camps are forming: the city and the rest. We're seeing it happen in Paris, and we are seeing it happen here in Seattle.


Comments (3) RSS

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NotSean 1
Posted by NotSean on April 1, 2014 at 8:47 PM · Report this
lark 2
Greetings from Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Charles,
Just a quick missive. Um, it 2 political camps aren't forming in this fine metropolis. I may as well be in the Capitalist not Socialist Republic of Vietnam. My biggest complaint of HCMC is, it is NOT pedestrian friendly at all except for the financial district. It is motor scooter heaven/hell! Tens of thousands of them dominate the streets. Quite the trick to cross a street. Can't imagine riding one. HCMC has no fixed rail public transit.

Having a fine time. Off to Nha Trang tomorrow.
Posted by lark on April 1, 2014 at 11:58 PM · Report this
Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France with a population of over 800,000 in the metro area. Strasbourg is the eighth largest with over 400,000.

Are these dwarfed by Paris' population of 10,000,000? Yes, of course. But places that are not the largest city and dominant location in politics and culture are still cities. To suggest otherwise would be to say that because Seattle doesn't even make the top 20 in the US, it's not a real city.

There is a real problem in France, with rural areas claiming to be more authentically French than the cities with their large immigrant populations and therefore demanding tax money to preserve this authenticity. That deserves more attention. Municipal (from the Latin municipium meaning free city) elections are not the issue.

Posted by merula on April 2, 2014 at 6:03 AM · Report this

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