The most famous boulevard in Paris, the Champs-Élysées, will be off-limits to cars on the first Sunday of every month starting in May, Paris city hall said on Monday.
The first pedestrian-only day will be May 8th instead of May 1st, a public holiday, when many of the council workers needed to run the scheme will be off work, Mayor Anne Hidalgo's office said.
From then on, cars will be banished from the two kilometre-long (1.2-mile) street on the first Sunday of every month when museums in Paris are also free to the public.
Nine new routes will also be pedestrianised every Sunday and public holiday — adding to the 13 already subject to traffic restrictions under the “Paris Respire” anti-pollution programme.
Although the new areas have not been named publicly.
The move follows the success of Paris’s first car-free day last September when swathes of the city were closed off to traffic to allow pedestrians and cyclists to take over.
Apart from the lack of cars and the sight of people strolling down the Champs Elysées, one of the most noticeable differences to a normal day was the relative quiet throughout the capital.
The association Bruitparis said measurements showed a three decibel drop in noise levels compared to your average Sunday, which reflects a drop by half from the usual din.
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Hidalgo, a Socialist, has made fighting the smog that periodically shrouds the French capital one of her top priorities.
The World Health Organization says fine-particle air pollution is responsible for about 42,000 premature deaths in France each year.