Paris to Shut Down Traffic for a Whole Day on 27 September, Pack Your Bike Accordingly

Car-free Paris 1 photo
Photo: Paris town hall
The French capital is currently facing a pollution crisis. While it may not have reached the same level as in China's main city, Paris is trying to nip the problem in the bud.
You've probably already heard about the French-led war against diesel cars, whose late years expansion is credited for most of the air quality problems, but this is something else. This time, the city hall is planning on shutting down traffic completely, even if only for one day.

To be more precise, only 11 of the city's 20 arrondissements (districts) will take part in what is called “Une journée sans voiture,” or, to you and me, "A day with no cars."

Paris is linking this event with the European Mobility Week (16-22 September) which is scheduled to end five days before the ban on all motorized vehicle takes place on the 27th. As if there weren't enough reasons to back up this idea, a major climate change conference held by UN will shortly follow.

How will the Parisiens take this decision? Frankly, it very much depends on the weather: if it's sunny, they'll be pissed; if it rains, there'll be hell. No matter how you put it, the mayor is screwed.

No further than one year ago there were talks about a car-free day each week in Paris, which naturally made a lot of the city's residents very upset. You don't go and spend tens of thousands of euros on a car that you can only drive when the mayor house tells you to. And since the French don't need a lot to block all roads in protest, the idea was discontinued.

Now, though, there's no turning back. But since 27 September is a Sunday, people will be more likely to accept the idea and go for a bicycle ride to cool off.

The idea isn't new, though, with other cities around the world already implementing something similar, the most advanced being the Colombian capital of Bogota. There's a car-free weekday running there since 2000.

The only types of vehicles allowed on the streets are emergency vehicles and those destined for public transportation. There's no info whether electric cars are excluded or have to comply as well, but what we'd really like to know is what you think about this type of events and how would you feel about it if it happened in your hometown?
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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