Taking a scenic stroll along the Seine River just got a little easier. On Monday, September 26, the Associated Press reports, the Paris City Council approved a plan to convert a 2-mile road that runs from the Tuileries Garden toward the city’s Bastille neighborhood into a pedestrian-only area.
The initiative wasn’t passed simply to benefit tourists, nature lovers, and active commuters—it’s also meant to curb Paris’s high pollution levels. City officials have taken other steps to improve the city’s air quality, like banning vehicles from the Champs-Élysées once a month, converting roundabouts into public spaces, and instituting “car-free days.” They’ve also already relegated a highway along the river’s Left Bank for pedestrian use.
As Travel + Leisure points out, portions of the route are already transformed into pedestrian areas once a year for the annual Paris Plages event, which converts portions of the city into beach settings. However, not everyone’s on board with the new river walkway. Critics say that closing the Seine-adjacent thoroughfare will cause traffic delays and hurt working-class commuters. In the meantime, the city plans to monitor noise and emission levels to gauge the plan’s effectiveness.
[h/t Travel + Leisure]
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