Car ban lures Parisians to the street while reducing pollution

by Sharlan Douglas
CWA marketing consultant Sharlan Douglas is a Royal Oak city commissioner and former planning commissioner. Her recent vacation in France inspired the following.

paris2My husband and I had the exceptional luck to be vacationing in Paris on Sunday, September 27, 2015, when the city banned motor vehicles in the central part of the city. On a stunning fall day, our three-hour guided bike tour roamed through the inner arrondissements, which were filled with people walking, parading, skateboarding, biking and riding Segways.

The car-free day reduced nitrogen dioxide in some parts of the city by 40 percent; 30 percent along the Champs-Elysees. Urban noise was half the usual level (source).

paris1

Five other European cities – Oslo, Milan, Dublin, Madrid, Brussels are contemplating car-free cores. Other cities around the world use congestion pricing to reduce air pollution and make their most popular areas friendlier to non-drivers.

Here’s a great before and after video of the Champs-Elysees.