SAU Buzz

Paris Bans Cars for a Day

by Becca Herrmann
Posted on Oct 19, 2017

A day without cars in this day and age seems almost impossible, but the citizens and government of central Paris made it happen.

On October 1, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Parisians enjoyed the car-free, quiet streets and fresh air. On a normal day, cars take up 50 percent of public space in the city while they only account for 13 percent of all travel.

The initiative came from the Paris Town Hall or Mairie and mayor Anne Hidalgo. There were public officials stationed on major roads leading into the center of the city to enforce the no car zone. There were exceptions for emergency vehicles and public transportation.

Hidalgo, who pledged to reduce pollution in her campaign, has now organized three car-free days.

“This initiative requires an enormous amount of preparation,” Hidalgo said. “Particularly because this year the zone has been enlarged to the whole of Paris.”

Citizens who failed to observe the rules of the 40 mile radius could be ticketed as much as 135 Euros, or $160. But the Mairie stood by their statement that the purpose of the day was not to punish people, but to provide a safe and fun way to enjoy the city.

The city and country have been taking measures to reduce air pollution, and no-car days have been a part of that. They have also banned older cars and are looking for other pollution solutions, as there have been 48,000 premature deaths in France every year due to air pollution.