Paris Pollution Peaks, Brings New Car Ban
The city of Paris has once again initiated a partial ban on cars driving within the city in the face of “red-alert” levels of pollution. The city hall has said that the air pollution, which has grown much worse since November 30th, poses a significant risk to residents’ health, and lays the blame for the crisis on weather conditions and on a heavy dependence on area vehicles using diesel fuel.
The car ban would remove half of all cars on the roads based on license plate numbers (only even-numbered plates were allowed on the 6th), while making public transportation free for the day, including the Paris metro and bus services, as well as the Velib bike-share and Autolib electric car-sharing services.
City officials say that this is the ninth time this year that Paris has faced a pollution spike.
This event throws into relief the various ways that the city has been expanding its car restrictions, including plans to replace Seine-side roads with parks, downtown car-free days, highways restricted only to bicycles, and banning cars older than 1997 from the roadways during the week.
Unfortunately, change in the type of vehicles driven in the city will be slow, potentially leading to continued bouts of pollution spikes, and many of Mayor Hidalgo’s pro-green policies, especially the plan to close roadways on the bank of the Seine, have come under fire from more right-wing opponents.
Perhaps GM should bring its special China-specific car air filter system to Europe, too.
News Source: The Detroit News