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Paris Holds Yet Another Day Without Cars

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Car-Free Day in Paris

The first car-free day in Paris occurred in September, cutting Paris’s smog problem in nearly half
Image: Anna Hidalgo

Paris is a city that has gradually become more and more unfriendly to cars. In fact, its current mayor, Anne Hidalgo, was elected on a promise to cut air pollution (a rising problem in many capital cities) and reduce car traffic in the city.

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Now, the entire City of Lights has, for the first time, banned all car traffic in the entire city for a whole day—or, actually, 11am to 6pm on October 1st, with emergency vehicles, buses, and taxis still allowed to help ferry people around.

This isn’t the first time Paris has led car bans. Back in December of 2016, the city instituted a partial vehicle ban in reaction to air pollution spiking to “red-alert” levels. However, Paris had been leading more proactive car traffic restrictions since before that, including plans to replace roads along the Seine River with parks, restrict highway travel to bicyclists only, recurring car-free downtown zones, and banning aging vehicles (model year 1997 or older) from riding the roadways during the week.

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This is the city’s third “Day Without Cars,” where the intent is to educate visitors and citizens by demonstrating the alternative transportation methods available and showing what the streets would be like with fewer cars on them.

The Day Without Cars produced some problems for the Paris Fashion Week, which normally uses trucks to set up lavish shows, although these difficulties were met by the Paris Couture Federation, which worked with police and other authorities to make sure the events would run smoothly.

News Sources: Engadget, Chicago Tribune