Paris centre to ban cars every first Sunday in month

Paris wants to improve its air quality and create fairer public space

First Sunday each month, the city centre of Paris will become completely car-free. Only pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers, skateboarders or scooter-riders will be allowed to enter the inner parts of the City of Light.

From 7 October, Paris city centre will close its gate to cars every first Sunday in a month — Paris centre to ban cars every first Sunday in a month
From 7 October, Paris city centre will close its gate to cars every first Sunday in a month — bellena / Shutterstock.

The new rule, that will launch 7 October, is part of an initiative called Paris Respire (Paris breath) supported by current Mayor Anne Hildago that aims to improve its air quality and create a fairer public space.

“This measure, eagerly awaited by the inhabitants, is the fruit of an important partnership between the prefecture of police, mayors of the district and neighbourhood associations,” she said in a statement.

Christophe Najdovski, deputy mayor of Paris, added: “It will cover most of the streets, with the exception of major roads such as Boulevard Sébastopol, which will remain open to traffic.”

Currently, a measure banning cars from entering has already been in place in several parts of the city.  Now, it will affect Paris’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements.

The new rule will be applicable every first Sunday in a month from 10 am till 6 pm. However, residents, public transport, taxis and delivery vehicles will still have the permission to enter the affected zones.

Paris to become the leader in environmental reforms

Currently, Paris holds a car-free day once a year. Last time, the city organised the event with a partnership of Brussels. Before the launch, Mayor Hildago announced that Paris would strive to become the leader in environmental reforms.

The city plans to investigate the option of free public transport — Tupungato / Shutterstock Paris centre to ban cars every first Sunday in a month
The city plans to investigate the option of free public transport — Tupungato / Shutterstock

In March she also claimed that she would investigate the options of making wide city public transportation for free.

“To improve public transport we should not only make it more extensive, more regular and more comfortable, we must also rethink the fares system,” she said in a statement.

Paris has improved its infrastructure significantly even before Hildago took the office. Since 1990 Vehicle use in the city dropped by 45 per cent.

Paris will also join other European cities and by 2024 diesel vehicles will be banned in the centre.