People, Environment

Dramatic Pollution Decline on Paris’ Car-Free Day

Dramatic Pollution Decline on Paris’ Car-Free DayDramatic Pollution Decline on Paris’ Car-Free Day

Paris’s recent “day without cars” has been hailed as a resounding success after dramatic drops in levels of air and noise pollution were recorded in the city.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she hopes to introduce regular bans on transportation in the French capital.

“We might envisage days without cars more often … perhaps even once a month,” she wrote on Twitter, i24news reported.

Airparif, which measures pollution levels in the city, said the levels of nitrogen dioxide dropped by up to 40% in parts of the city on Sunday 27 September.

There was approximately 30% less nitrogen dioxide pollution on the busy Champs Elyées than on a similar Sunday. Along the Seine in the city center, levels were down by about 40%.

Bruitparif, which measures noise, said sound levels dropped by half in the city center.

Paris held a car-free day for the first time on September 27, with large parts of the French capital taken over by cyclists, joggers and families with pushchairs on roads normally choked by traffic.

The roaring traffic of the world-renowned Champs-Elysees Avenue was replaced by people strolling in the late September sunshine.

Paris became the latest city worldwide to hold a car-free day as it prepares to host United Nations-led climate negotiations this December seeking to seal a post-2020 pact on curbing greenhouse gases.

Officials and environmentalists hailed the event as a success despite disappointment that police had refused to allow the ban to cover the whole city. The official intervention meant only 30% of Paris was off limits to vehicles, specifically the city’s four central districts, from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.