The streets of the capital were closed Sunday to the circulation of cars and motorized two-wheelers, and made entirely pedestrian on the occasion of the fourth "Day without car". At mid-day, the Champs-Élysées, the most famous avenue in the world, was stormed by Parisians on foot, by bike or by scooter. "This is a great opportunity to discover the city from another angle, with a friendly approach and then environmental", rejoiced Etienne. For his part, Rex American tourist, did not sulk his pleasure either: at the hotel "they told us that the street was closed, which makes the thing much more pleasant".
By bike, on foot or even by gyroroue, onlookers could move freely on the Champs-Élysées on Sunday. © FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP
"Less polluted, more peaceful". The ban on driving – from 11am to 18pm – does not apply to all cars: emergency vehicles that can justify an intervention, emergency and emergency vehicles, and cars for the disabled, tourist buses, move with a permit and bus. These, as well as taxis, circulated like a usual Sunday but were limited to 30 km / h, or 20 km / h in the first four districts. On the other hand, the Parisian ring road is not concerned by the measure. The goal of this "Car Free Day" is to "make public space less polluted, more pleasant and more peaceful," says the website of the City of Paris. "It's a good idea that we must absolutely expand and multiply," said Jean-Marie, 68, from Meurthe-et-Moselle. The pollution is such in Paris that "on arriving here, we smell the exhaust pipes," he complains.
The "Car Free Day" is an opportunity for families to walk around without being bothered by vehicles. © FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP
One Sunday a month in four districts. According to her daughter, Caroline, who presents herself as an adopted Parisian, "the car in the streets of the capital spoils all the pleasures … The noise, the pollution, the horns … Everything becomes unbearable". "We see thousands of cars with one person on board, it's absolutely ridiculous," said the mother, favorable to a "total ban on cars for Parisians, who can widely use transport." In struggle for several years on these issues, the Mayor of Paris announced Friday that the first four arrondissements, which form part of the center of the capital (Ile de la Cité and Saint-Louis, Châtelet, Louvre, Opera, Marais district) ) would be closed to vehicular traffic one Sunday per month from 7 October, except for the main roads that cross them.
– Romane Hocquet (@HocquetRomane) September 16, 2018
– Parents Louis Blanc (@ParentsLB) September 16, 2018
– Justinien Tribillon (@JustinienT) September 16, 2018
According to the Paris city hall, intramural motor traffic registered a "record" drop of 6% between 2017 and 2018. Air pollution has been reduced "in comparable proportions". "In the face of the climate emergency and the health impact of pollution," Anne Hidalgo and Philippe Close, the mayors of Paris and Brussels, have also proposed Saturday that be established annually a day without a European car.