Paris steps up on noise reduction

A “Medusa” radar installed in Villeneuve-le-Roi (Val-de-Marne), in August 2019.

© Charles Platiau
A “Medusa” radar installed in Villeneuve-le-Roi (Val-de-Marne), in August 2019.

Stop the backfiring exhausts and thunderous traffic. Sports cars, unbridled motorcycles or even scooters will have to put it down in the capital. Paris will experiment with sound radars to penalize vehicles that are too noisy. The device, made possible by the mobility orientation law (LOM) of 2019, is one of the flagship measures of the ambitious noise plan of the Paris town hall for the period 2021-2026, which Release was able to consult exclusively. The document will be voted on October 12 at the Paris Council before being the subject of a broad public consultation for two months. It will extend and strengthen the 2015-2021 noise plan. On the program, a series of measures to reduce noise from neighbors, industry and especially tackle head-on problem number 1 in Paris: road noise. An ordeal for households, often the most modest, installed near major roads.

Noise peaks are in the viewfinder, especially those from two wheels. “An unbridled motorcycle that circulates at night in Paris can wake up to 10,000 people”, regrets Dan Lert, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of ecological transition. From November, anti-noise radars will therefore be installed in the 20th and 17th arrondissements, rue d’Avron and rue Cardinet. They will operate initially for three months, without verbalization, “To evaluate the operation of the equipment in real conditions”, specifies the document from the town hall of Paris. The devices will be able to measure noise and automatically take pictures of the license plates of vehicles that exceed the set thresholds (which have yet to be defined). The device works on the same model as the jellyfish»Developed by Bruitparif, made up of five microphones and a 360-degree camera. This observatory which monitors decibels in the capital has already tested them in 2019 in Yvelines. After a one-year hiatus to fine-tune the operation and compliance of controls, the radars will return at the start of 2023. The first verbalizations will take place at that time, over a period of four months.

Stress and fatigue factor

This experiment is part of a larger-scale project led by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, with the Center for Studies and Expertise on Risks, the Environment, Mobility and Planning (Cerema) and the ‘Gustave-Eiffel University (in Seine-et-Marne). After conclusive tests in Nantes in June, Nice, Toulouse, Bron (Rhône), Rueil-Malmaison, Villeneuve-le-Roi (Val-de-Marne) and the community of communes of the valley of Chevreuse (Yvelines) were brought volunteers in the same way as Paris.

At the same time, road noise checks will also be carried out by the new Parisian municipal police. She “Will be equipped with sound level meters and trained in measurement and verbalization”, specifies the noise plan document, without giving figures on the staff who will be assigned to this mission. The mayor of Paris is also urging the government on the obligation of technical control of two wheels to prevent noise slippage. The measure, which was to enter into force from 2023, was suspended this summer by the executive, which is slow to implement a European directive in this direction.

Reducing noise pollution in the capital was one of the promises of the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, during the municipal elections last year. The stakes are high: noise pollution is the second environmental risk factor for health behind air pollution in Europe. “Noise has a high impact on health: stress, fatigue, trouble concentrating, particularly at night when stress can cause pathologies. On arrival we have problems of deafness, cardiovascular disease, anxiety disorders, diabetes, obesity ”, insists Dan Lert, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of ecological transition. And to quote a Bruitparif study according to which transport noise causes Parisians to lose eight and a half months of healthy life.

“We will not back down”

Not surprisingly, noise-reducing radars are not to everyone’s liking. The French Federation of Angry Bikers (FFMC) takes offense at the future sanctions. Even if they managed to raise the sling during the public consultation, the town hall says it will go to the end. “Noise pollution from motorized two-wheelers is rotting people’s lives and the health of Parisians. We will not back down on verbalization ”, says Dan Lert.

The new Paris noise plan also includes measures already announced or implemented, such as the generalization of 30 km / h in the streets of the capital, the development of cycle lanes, more control and sanction of the noise at night, in particular the noise pollution linked to the terraces. Added to this are the deployment of floor coverings that are both less noisy and which retain less heat, lowering the noise of sirens from firefighters and construction sites, the development of noise maps from nighttime activities or even the increase in deliveries. silent.

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