“Ultimately, I think we will go towards a car ban”, announces Pierre Hurmic

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Pierre Hurmic, June 10, 2020, at his campaign room, rue des Trois Conils, in Bordeaux. – UGO AMEZ / SIPA

  • Sunday evening, Pierre Hurmic won the municipal elections in Bordeaux, with 46.48% of the votes.
  • The green candidate will be officially elected at 10:00 am on Friday at the municipal council.
  • For 20 minutes, he looks back on the “crazy evening” of June 28 and on the major issues that await him, such as the election of the metropolis on July 17, the bickering among the Girondins or his “zero car” project.

It was at his office, opposite the Bordeaux court, that
Pierre Hurmic is waiting 20 minutes, this Tuesday evening. The one who is to be elected mayor of Bordeaux on Friday, during an extraordinary municipal council which
will take place in the auditorium and not in the town hall, lead in the paperwork. The “five-minute wait” will turn into fifteen, but the lawyer who has been “chaining media meetings” since Monday morning will be talkative. His phone will keep beeping during these thirty-six minutes of interview interrupted, in the end, by a live broadcast on RMC with Christophe Dugarry. Before, Pierre Hurmic will have spoken of the metropolis, ecological town planning, the “650 texts unread since this morning” and a
Bordeaux without a car. Interview.

Pierre Hurmic, how did you experience this Sunday evening of victory?

It was an evening a little crazy. We felt that there was a real impatience for work-study in Bordeaux. We’re called Bordeaux Respire and I had the impression on Sunday that Bordeaux really wanted to breathe. It was also totally unexpected. Until 8 p.m. at the latest, the mayor’s team never imagined that they would lose a second. A survey, ten days before,
gave him nine points ahead. It is enormous.

Did this survey demobilize the troops of Nicolas Florian’s camp, in your opinion?

He mobilized mine. This poll put my spirits down. For half an hour, I said to myself “it’s folded”. And then as I am a fighter, I told myself that nine points, it makes up for it. During the last week, I fought like a lion because I believe that a campaign can be won over the last eight days. Many people decide at the last minute, even thirty minutes before. I find it amazing, but it exists.

It was won in the minds of Nicolas Florian and Thomas Cazenave, right?

This poll planted them. They were too confident. Nicolas Florian had made appointments this week, notably with supporters of the Girondins.

In the newspaper “L’Equipe”, you have already called for the departure of Frédéric Longuépée. Clubs speak of interference on your part …

They will have to get used to it. The financial interference of the town hall, they like. Political interference, they support less. I was not mayor, but the mayor will take the time to talk to King Street and Mr. Longuépée, that’s obvious. I will not treat him arrogantly. The mayor will be more measured than the candidate but he will be fairly firm.

But do you stand by your statement and think he should leave?

I want to see Mister Longuépée and discuss. I will make my religion. The mayor of Bordeaux has his say. I don’t see a shareholder going against the supporters and the mayor of the city. I can put water in my wine, but he will have to do the same.

The election of the metropolis will be a third round. The current negotiations suggest a new co-management. What do you think ?

I think the Bobet-Anziani alliance is the old world. These negotiations are precipitated, premature. This proves that the old world feels threatened. The future president of the metropolis must commit to a new governance that is not co-managed.

If not, what are you going to do?

I will vote against it like every time. We still weigh inside the Metropolis. It’s a wake-up call, the city of Bordeaux that is falling into the ecology camp. They can not ignore the democratic signal given by the voters of Bordeaux, anyway! I am convinced that this attitude is not in the majority among the socialists. I could be wrong, but I am convinced that there are modern socialists and that not everyone will be behind Alain Anziani.

Who are you thinking of?

I don’t want to start personalizing, but Stéphane Delpeyrat (Saint-Médard-en-Jalles) is one of them. But all those I haven’t mentioned will now tell me that I put them in the camp of archaics (laughs) …

Do you support a candidacy other than that of Alain Anziani?

Why not ? Including mine. There may also be another environmental candidate. We have a mayor whose name is Clément Rossignol-Puech (Bègles).

There are big files on which we are waiting for you: real estate, streetcar, traffic… On real estate you say that you want to “freeze” projects. But what does that mean exactly?

I can no longer touch the projects already launched. But regarding future projects, I have the power to freeze them. I think that the promoters are intelligent and are able to hear that the town planning policy of the city of Bordeaux will change. And they have things to gain in terms of image.

What do you dislike about the town planning policy that has been carried out?

It is untidy and we have concreted our last natural spaces. It is not very successful: when I walk around the Bassins à Flot, I cannot say that I find a pleasant neighborhood. The same goes for Brazza, Bastide-Niel, Euratlantique, even if this is an ISO (Operation of National Interest) and our room for maneuver will be more limited.

What is your vision for Bordeaux?

Already, I have always been hostile to the millionaire metropolis and I want a rebalancing between the territories. I strongly believe in the renewal of medium-sized cities, which are depopulating. Regarding urban planning in Bordeaux, I believe in “post-Covid” urban planning, that is to say more respectful of nature in the city. Look at the real estate products that are in demand today: these are apartments with a terrace and houses with a garden. I find that normal. People have changed a bit and no longer want to live in confined spaces where there is only concrete.

And what do you think of the “post-covid” cycle paths, the “coronapists”?

Not only will they stay, but they will increase. On the boulevards I offer a track over the entire length, not in small pieces. Continuous and secure trails are needed. In urban development, 70% of the roads are devoted to the car, yet it represents 29% of trips in Bordeaux. I don’t want to ban the car, but to rebalance things, even if in the long term I think we will go towards a ban. But, for the moment, we will go calmly.

Do you see when the car ban ends?

I don’t know… I proposed as a post-Covid solution, that we put the entire intra-boulevard sector in “zone 20”, in which pedestrians and cyclists have priority; the pedestrian has the right to walk in the middle of the road, and the car adapts. By these measures, you can gradually disgust the motorist to borrow these roads … It must be tested.

On the tram, what will be your position on the extensions of lines already voted, like that towards Saint-Médard?

The one to Saint-Médard is 100 million euros, it’s really wasteful. I will make sure that it does not happen, even if I know that the new mayor wants it, hoping that it will stop before the village. We have to do circular public transportation, which we have not done. The challenge of travel today is extra-metropolitan. And I really believe in
hydrogen bus, like in Pau. I find that there is a certain tramway fetishism. Let us be open to what costs the least and provides the best services.

On the economy, what do you say to business leaders who are worried about your arrival and the change of political color in Bordeaux?

During the whole campaign, I met a lot of business leaders, to reassure them. The business world speaks to me, and perhaps even more than other elected officials. My law firm is an SME. When you’ve never worked in your life – and I’m not targeting anyone – these things don’t speak to you. I will work with Alain Rousset, knowing that the piloting of economic development has been given to the Region.

Regarding the abstention, very strong, it is said that you will not be the mayor of all Bordeaux residents, what do you say?

I am not the man of a clan, of a party, and I will be the mayor of all Bordeaux residents. The ecological transition of which I dream, we will make it with the Bordeaux people.

He was sad, but he left a little sadly too. He could at least have wished the new team good luck. Even to say it without smiling. I haven’t had a call that I know of, even though I have 650 unread texts. But I’m not in the campaign anymore and when you’re elected you have to be a great lord and not stir up old feelings.





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