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In pictures: Crowds throng streets of Paris in 'day without cars'

© Mehdi Chebil, FRANCE 24 | Pedestrians and cyclists enjoy the French capital's famed Champs Elysées blissfully free of cars on Sunday, September 27

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-09-27

Parisians and tourists basked in the sunshine on Sunday as they strolled, skated and cycled around the city centre on the French capital's first car-free day, part of efforts by local authorities to tackle the city’s alarming pollution levels.

The French capital's central arrondissements and areas around landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysées were mostly free from car noise and exhaust fumes between 11am and 6pm local time.

Exceptions were allowed for taxis, buses and emergency vehicles. Paris has occasionally closed selected roads to traffic in the past, but not as large an area as was covered on Sunday.

Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who late this year will host the United Nations World Climate Conference, said the goal was to show that "Paris can operate without cars".

But not all Parisians were impressed on Sunday, with many cyclists and pedestrians complaining that there were still too many cars around, while motorists fumed in the large traffic jams that formed around the pedestrian area. 

 

Date created : 2015-09-27

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