Journée Sans Voitures: Paris Goes Car-Free

On any given day in Paris, the Champs-Élysées is choked with traffic. But yesterday, pedestrians and cyclists ruled the road as the city staged its first-ever car-free day. The ban, which applied to the busiest one-third of the city, was part of Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s ongoing effort to clean up Paris’ act. She’s promised to establish semi-pedestrian zones in central districts and completely ban diesel by 2020. And it’s much needed: Back in March, Paris briefly took the title of Most Polluted City in The World.

Sunday’s ban gave everyone a breather from fumes and traffic noise, but it also sent a signal to the rest of the world that the city is ready to get serious about fighting climate change. Beginning November 30th, nations from all over will convene in Paris to commit to cutting carbon. Allons-y! (Pssst…that means, “Let’s go!”)

This post first appeared at OnEarth.

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