Paris Mayor Bans Cars Along Two-Mile Stretch of the Seine

Apr 16, 2017

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In order to combat air pollution while simultaneously creating a more pedestrian-friendly city, the mayor of Paris recently signed an order to ban cars from driving along a two-mile stretch of the Right Bank, allowing pedestrians, bikers, rollerbladers and sunbathers to enjoy this part of the Seine in a relaxed, car-free setting.

“We’ve dreamed of this moment for 15 years — but now pedestrians and the children can have this magnificent walkway,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said during the opening ceremony of ‘Rives de Seine’ last weekend.

The area had been closed to traffic since October of 2016 so experts could study the effect it would have on traffic flow in an already terribly congested city. Last fall, after air pollution reached a level three times higher than it should, Parisian authorities ordered that all public transportation fees be waived in an attempt to help curb it.

While pedestrians are sure to be happy about the new walking zone, 168 mayors signed an open letter to Mayor Hidalgo, asking her to reopen the space to cars, the closing of which they believed would lead to more congestion and longer commutes. Despite the urging of her fellow mayors, Hidalgo forged ahead. “We aren’t anti-cars, we’re anti-pollution. Long live life, long live Paris and long live fresh air.”

H/T: Travel and Leisure 

Featured image of the Seine Riverbank courtesy of Francois Guillot via Getty Images.

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