Paris boulevards car-free for a day

GMT 14:47 2015 Sunday ,27 September

Arab Today, arab today Paris boulevards car-free for a day

Couple cycle along a street in Paris
Paris - AFP

Paris held a car-free day for the first time on Sunday, 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.

All traffic except taxis and emergency vehicles was banned in four central arrondissements, or districts, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said she would have liked cars to be silenced across the whole city.

"We didn't get as wide a perimeter as we'd have liked, we asked for the whole of Paris," she said at the start of the event.

"But it's a first and I think next year it will be even bigger."

Hidalgo was accompanied by the mayors of Brussels, Sao Paulo in Brazil and Bristol in southwest England, which have also held car-free days.

Elsewhere in Paris, cars were requested to stick to a pedestrian speed limit of 20 kilometres per hour (12 miles per hour) -- although many drivers ignored the request.


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