Under grey skies and light showers, areas around the Louvre and Champs Elysees were inundated with cyclists, prams, scooters and pedestrians.
The 2nd car-free day in Paris is part of Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s wider efforts to fight air pollution. But it wouldn’t be France without controversy. Critics say that the Mayor’s policies are only shifting problems elsewhere.
“… the majority of Parisians support their mayor’s push to restrict car use within the city. Up to 55 percent of respondents said they supported closing off the Berges de Seine to cars, and 59 percent said they wanted to see a decrease in traffic by 2020.
Hidalgo’s so-called ‘war on cars’ has of course run into detractors. Some say the mayor’s policies will do little to reduce air pollution, but will actually increase smog outside the city centre.”
Regardless, for seven hours, starting around 11 a.m., it was a wonder to walk around a honking-free Paris. Even the police took to the streets on rollerblades. The only caution needed when crossing streets? Beware of three-year olds on training wheels.