Paris Will Completely Shut Down Traffic For One Day In September

Avenue des Champs-Élysées view from the Arc de Triomphe 2 photos
Photo: Wikipedia user Josh Hallett - Flickr: The Champs
Poster used by Paris City Hall to promote its car-free day
Paris has expanded its “car-free day” to the entire city, and it will happen again this year.
Unlike the 2015 experience, when 11 of the town’s 20 arrondissements (districts) were closed for motorized vehicle traffic, Paris is going all-in this year.

On September 25, 2016, from 11 am to six pm, nobody will be allowed to drive a motorized vehicle through Paris. Electric cars are also forbidden, and so are two and three-wheeled vehicles that are self-propelled.

The restriction marks the largest ban on traffic that has been imposed in a significant Capital of the World, but not the first for this city. Paris’s ban on motorized vehicles is joyfully named “La Journee Sans Voiture,” which means the trip without cars. Evidently, it has a hashtag: #parissansvoiture, which means “Paris without cars.”

Do not worry, as Parisian authorities have not lost their minds, and this is an event that would show people what would happen if everybody just used public transit, bicycles, or walked.

The scary scenario for every petrolhead does make sense in a world where pollution is strangling our cities, but this experiment will show the world that extreme bans are also wrong.

Evidently, emergency services, such as ambulances and police vehicles, will still drive through the city. However, any taxi, Uber, or whatever vehicle that is not required on the road to save someone’s life will be banned from driving in the specified timeframe.

Local police and municipal staff will enforce the restriction, but the eventual fines for breaking this traffic ban have not been revealed. We would not attempt to break it if we were you, so stick to pedestrian mode if you swing by Paris on the Sunday of September 25, 2016.

The same program has also suggested residents to leave their cars parked for the entire week preceding the event. In exchange, the authorities would allow citizens to use public transportation, public electric vehicles, and bicycle rental services for free.

As Forbes notes, delivery tricycles, bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, and non-motorized scooters will probably be the vehicles of choice for most Parisians on that Sunday.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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