Should we ban the car in old centers ?

Should we ban the car in old centers ?

À Salasc, sur la place des Comédiens, une nouvelle réglementation va entrer en vigueur. JM – JM

Avec l’évolution démographique, la circulation et le stationnement entraînent leur lot de nuisances. Comment réguler cette “invasion” ? Des maires répondent à la question.

Witnesses to an era that those under twenty cannot know, the old postcards, sepia-colored, attest to the obvious: without a car, the historic centers of our villages are simply magnificent. Except that today, this aesthetic is often sacrificed on the altar of the entire automobile.

Because everywhere the observation is the same. Due to demographic growth, there are more and more cars in the villages. Result, "our beautiful heritage square, the Place des Comédiens, is invaded by vehicles, it’s a real shame", deplores Jean-Claude Clozier. Mayor of Salasc for a year and a half, the first magistrate intends to use the power to regulate parking, which is in his hands, to find a solution to a subject which has been on the table since… 1998. A quarter of a century later, the question is still relevant and particularly sensitive, whereas in this matter, a municipal decree intends to reduce the omnipresence of automobiles on a square bathed in sunshine where a song sings. pretty fountain often overshadowed by the sheet metal.

Give back to public places their collective vocation

A year ago, however, a first public meeting was organized to discuss this subject, explaining, in particular, that the creation of two parking lots (one at the school and one near the cemetery) should make it possible to limit parking on the central square of the village and frame it more within the commune. Monday, a few days before the decree was put in place (initially scheduled for June 1), the last public meeting on the subject was particularly stormy. Yet virtuous, the objective of "development and conservation of the heritage of the commune" and, in particular, the desire to "returning to this place the essence of a collective place" came up against the habits and constraints of homes even if, "in total, there are more than 100 parking spaces in the town…" As a result, the mayor had to review his copy and make some concessions… to the automobile. A car that is definitely difficult to drive out of old centers. But, in Salasc, from the end of June, the development should be clear towards the Place des Comédiens. The fountain will be more visible and parking will be more restricted, particularly from April to September.

The contribution of the Grand Site de France label… and the ASVP

A few cables away, on the Octon side, Bernard Coste also issued a municipal decree a long time ago to prohibit parking in front of the label, the fountain on the central square."On this issue of parking, we must regulate but we must do it on a case by case basis, we must not generalize, he warns. On the Place d'Octon, for example, it is not possible to prevent traffic or even parking. For example, we have banned parking in front of the fountain but we have also created two spaces (minute stop) near the grocery store, this completes the system. And there is a parking lot 50 meters from the square!". And for the mayor of Octon, the classification of Salagou, now recognized as a Grand Site de France, should contribute to raising awareness of a very real problem: "Today&rsquo ;Today, there are two or three vehicles per household. Fifty years ago, there was not one in every home." Another lever: hiring ASVP ( by the community of communes of Clermontais) contributes "with a lot of pedagogy" to get the message across.

"Today, we're like a car addict"

In Montpeyroux, mayor Claude Carceller sums up the situation: “We have more and more cars. Today, we are like car addicts, but our villages were built at a time when there was not much traffic and when the modes of transport were not those of today.” It is obvious that when they were created, these villages were not designed for cars. So today, the answer also involves mobility solutions with, for example, “the on-demand buses that we are setting up in the Valley”. During the summer, the villages will also benefit from additional lines to make it easier to discover them. And "in Montpeyroux, we have created four car parks to allow motorists not to park in the streets. The car causes a certain visual nuisance… and olfactory. The goal is to move it away from the city center. But people still want to get as close as possible to their homes or businesses. As part of our future ZAC, we will work on these issues: traffic, parking and pedestrians".

So, will village centers one day rediscover the aesthetics of ancient times? ? There is room for improvement. The announced arrival, at full speed, of all-electric technology could shake things up and give a tremendous boost to solutions that are still struggling to emerge. We still need to plan a real, proactive strategy in this area. The road is long and bumpy… but time is running out. 2035 is tomorrow.

“Visitors give us compliments”

In Romiguières, the smallest town in Hérault, mayor Valérie Rouveirol has taken the issue of parking in the old center head on. "Given the number of vehicles per house, it was not desirable for them to be on the streets. We have very narrow streets and this clutters up public space. With the architect, the decision was to create flowerbeds to prevent long-term parking even if cars can be unloaded.

Car parks already present or created in the village provide solutions and developments to reduce speed. The decision was not easy to get accepted, testifies the elected official. "This is what was least well accepted even if the village is all small, you have to walk 50 meters to get to the parking lot. But there were habits, there were big discussions. But it made it possible to resolve the issue of parking and speed." Two years after completion, tempers calmed down and " visitors compliment us on the arrangements that have been made".

In charge of town planning in the community of communes of Lodévois and Larzac, Valérie Rouveirol believes that _"if we want to rehabilitate the village hearts. The car must be set back a little to create living spaces. Equity is also at stake. Because in villages, not all residents have a garden. And they should be able to enjoy public space in complete peace of mind.

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