National Geographic : 1972 Jul
In the command center of a war against snarled traffic, television con soles at police headquarters flash views of Paris's heavily traveled streets. As the gleaming zinc bars for a glass of red, their long morning's work done. "How much longer will the market stay here?" I asked a meat seller. "It'll be another year," he said, "before our buildings at Rungis are ready." "Will you be sorry to move?" I asked. "Well, it is sad to leave," he admitted, "but it is too crowded and old-fashioned here." Once Les Halles are all gone, what will take their place? The city has plans for a park above a giant underground complex to in clude two subway stations and a shopping center. Next to the park will stand a museum of contemporary arts and a public library. Which may or may not relieve the con gested streets of Paris. Problem No. 1: Traffic "Every day 940,000 vehicles enter and leave Paris," said Jacques Lenoir, the Pre fect of Police (page 100). "And just about a third of the cars that park in the city do so illegally-even though the parking facilities have doubled in recent years. But, then, so has the number of cars."