To Combat Air Pollution, Paris's Champs-Élysées Will Go Car-Free Once a Month

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Europe has recently been pulling out all the stops to clear up its smoggy skies. San Vitaliano, a tiny Italian town outside Naples, temporarily banned wood-fired pizza ovens. London used pigeons to monitor the city’s air quality, and posted the results to social media. Oslo even resolved to make its city center car-free by 2019. Now, Paris is joining in the action, Condé Nast Traveler reports. Officials have promised to ban cars from the city's most famous boulevard, the Champs-Élysées, once a month.

Last Sunday, the bustling thoroughfare was filled with throngs of pedestrians, who flocked to the street to enjoy a day free of congested traffic. Events like this were once reserved for special occasions like New Year’s Eve. Now, they'll be a regular occasion, occurring on the first Sunday of every month, the AFP reports.

“All of Paris should be like this," the AFP quoted a Parisian as saying. "We have to stop poisoning people, we need to open up the city. There should be more public transport and more taxis, but we don't need cars in Paris."

The Champs-Élysées won’t be the only section of Paris to temporarily get rid of cars. Nine new routes will also be reserved for pedestrians and cyclists every Sunday, as well as on public holidays, as part of the "Paris Respire" (Paris Breathes) anti-pollution program.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]