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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Novembre - Lyon-Saint-Étienne motorway: The peasants ditch car (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sat, 2 Dec 2017 10:00:16 +0200

The election of Laurent Wauquiez in 2015 at the head of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has significantly accelerated the project of " new highway " A45. The project is now suspended at the signing or not of the concession decree by the government. And the resistance is at a pivotal moment. ---- The transport issue is central in the Lyon metropolitan area, a crossroads of flows between northern and southern Europe. The railway line is the busiest in the province. The A45 project we are talking about today is an old idea, declared of public utility in the 1960s (we prefer the A47, then being completed), then again in 2008. In 2015 with the election of Laurent Wauquiez to the presidency of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the calendar is accelerating.
Since then, the financing plan has been adopted, the chosen concessionaire, and the decree validating the concession to Vinci signed by the Council of State. A final government signature would allow the expropriations to begin. But the project meets a determined opposition, and for good reason, it is estimated at 1.2 billion euros, financed by two-thirds on public funds (Region, Department of the Loire and Saint-Étienne Métropole), all for a highway paying parallel to a free !

Growth as an alibi

The argument on this point is that the axis Lyon-Saint-Étienne is saturated in places and, according to developers, this would hinder the development of Saint-Étienne. But this argument is a short-term vision. Indeed, on the one hand the A45 would lead to a daily exchanger bottled (between A450 and A7), and secondly, even once the exchanger changed, the improvement - very real - n ' would have a time, and this because a basic problem remains: commercial freight via the train declines when the road, cheaper, is cleared, and in the long run, as long as certain global conditions are not changed, the risk of saturation will threaten this axis.

We must see that the highway project is not isolated. The metropolis of Lyon, which includes Saint-Étienne, needs to build the A45 to decommission the A6 and A7 in downtown Lyon and turn them into urban boulevards, with smooth traffic.

With this in mind, the A45 is also complementary to the west bypass of Lyon and the doubling of the RN88 which will constitute a Lyon-Toulouse axis. Projects that are otherwise pushed back to distant times or even abandoned, which questions the relevance of the A45 alone, especially on the issue of congestion of the A6 / A7 exit of the A45. At this level of analysis, Saint-Étienne would become the West's gateway to the greater metropolitan area and would benefit economically from this strategic situation. But here again the rub: the construction of a highway accelerates pre-existing trends if nothing is done. Indeed, the most dynamic zone of the Saint Etienne agglomeration is located in the north-west of the city, with a jump of chip of the arrival of the A45. CQFD !

Without going into the logic of the developers, we find that the arguments in favor of the A45 are in any case misleading: the congestion of the A47 is due to the urban sprawl along the axis, and to decades policies favoring road transport rather than rail freight, private car rather than public transport. While it is desirable to support alternatives to the all-road model and its corollary, suburban urban sprawl, the reality is much more complex.

The solution to congestion, which stems from wider choices, remains to be invented, and it must go through various levers such as the densification of residential areas or the relocation of jobs and housing. This would amount to doing a real job on the living environment in the valley and the agglomeration of Etienne, to which could be added the establishment of phonic insulation, absent along the A47.

Finally, the main nuisances of the A45 concern agricultural land, since a prime supply area at the gates of Lyon and Saint-Etienne, where all types of production are present, is directly threatened. This is nearly 500 hectares and 375 farms that are affected or even amputated directly by the project. It also poses a threat to the arboreal growers of the hillsides of Jarez, for whom compensation would be almost impossible. Others, located on the edge of the A45, will find it difficult to find outlets because of induced pollution. Another underlying issue is the destructuring of many direct sales networks around.

In addition, there is a risk of sprawl resulting from the growing demand for housing and activity areas, particularly on the Mornant plateau. Even if it is framed in this area, even the smallest sprawl at the scale of a municipality can represent important surfaces on the scale of an entire territory.

It is therefore a question of raising the pressure to avoid a sacking of territories and financial mismanagement. The opposition is organized around a newly created coordination of associations. In this structure are merged " historical " associations»Of residents such as Saving Coteaux du Jarez and Lyonnais, Saving Rhône Gier, elected officials, environmental (FRAPNA, LPO ...), peasants and peasants, other policies (Attac, Alternatiba 69) and assemblies / collectives of struggles. It was within the coordination that was born the idea of making a festival of opponents and a march closer to the route that were the highlights of this year of struggle. The record of these events is rather positive, they allowed to mediate the fight and especially to highlight the strength of the opposition. Nearly 8,000 people went there. It is up to us libertarians to grasp the question of transportation, which is crucial in the life of a society.

Elise (AL Tarn)

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