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Paris bans cars for third day to help curb crippling air pollution

Yes, it’s that bad

View of the Obelisk at Place de la Concorde down the broad avenue of the Champs-Élysées.
The City of Light recently experienced the worst air pollution in a decade.
Photo by Eerko Vissering via Flickr

The City of Light can’t catch a (clean) breath. The capital city experienced the worst air pollution in a decade, according to Reuters, prompting officials to enforce a driving restriction for the third day in a row. Earlier this fall, the city council approved Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo’s ban of cars along a two-mile stretch of the Seine, but change can’t come fast enough, it seems.

Paris prohibited cars from going the roads on Tuesday and Wednesday depending on whether their license plates ended in even or odd numbers, and will continue to do so on Thursday. To give you an idea of just how bad the air quality in Paris is currently, it is only the fourth time in 20 years that such a restriction has been put in place—and the first time ever that it has applied over consecutive days.

To alleviate some of the burden on commuters, the city has made all public transportation, residential parking, and bike and electric car sharing programs free during this period.

The city also announced plans to gradually ban old cars from driving on the streets. To do so, Paris will launch the new Crit’Air Vignette system that classifies cars based on their year of registration, energy efficiency, and the quality of their emissions through color-coded stickers. And while Paris already banned cars 20 years and older starting July 1 of this year and have distributed around 120,000 stickers, participation is voluntary and enforcement minimal. Head to Reuters for the full story.

Via: Reuters