The French capital will go car-free on Sunday, September 27, which means locals and visitors will be able to enjoy Paris minus all of its typical motorized traffic, giving the city over to bicyclists and pedestrians.
Completely free of traffic congestion, noise pollution and vehicle emissions, the Day Without Cars is expected to transform the physical and auditory landscape, providing rarely seen views as well as revealing ambient sounds that are usually drowned out by the urban cacophony.
Battling air pollution in a major metro area can be a challenging endeavor when you’re trying to keep things running as smoothly as possible, but in this city that’s been grappling with dangerously poor air quality as of late, they decided to address the problem head on, eradicating the primary source of the issue – for a day anyway, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., that is.
During the car-free day, portions of the city center will be open to cyclists and pedestrians only, though a few main drags will stay open with traffic slowed to 20 mph. Certain vehicles will be permitted to enter the partitioned parts of the city, such as emergency vehicles, public transportation, taxis, delivery vehicles and residents of those blocks. Mayor Anne Hidalgo hopes to make La Journée sans Voiture an annual event.
The event is timed to coincide with a United Nations climate conference and European Mobility Week. Other metropolitan areas around the world including Montreal, Bogota, Mexico City and Ho Chi Minh City are following France’s lead and instituting similar vehicular restrictions to various degrees.
Can you imagine being be able to stand in the streets of Paris, capturing unique shots of urban architecture and infrastructure without the risk of being run over? If you were ever thinking about going to Paris, late September would be ideal.