Pedestrians Take to the Streets of Paris for a Day Without Cars

  • Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced Paris’ first “day without cars” in 2015.
  • Events included a rollerskating marathon, bicycle fair, and techno parade.
  • Hidalgo is working on a plan to drastically reduce car traffic in the heart of Paris next year, France 24 reported.

On Sunday, Paris turned over its streets to pedestrians so that citizens and visitors could enjoy its seventh annual “day without cars.”

Announced by socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo in 2015, the city received enthusiastic support from both ordinary Parisians and unlikely parties including the head of a French drivers’ association, USA Today reported

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., cars, motorcycles, and scooters are banned throughout Paris, and any offenders face a fine of 135 euros, according to the Paris Without A Car website.

Certain vehicles like buses, emergency vehicles, taxis, and private drivers are allowed to circulate, although their speed is limited to 20-30 kilometers per hour (12-19 miles per hour) in certain areas, according to the event page and map of closures and restriction.

“Many people in Paris, especially on the Champs-Élysées, for the #JournéeParisRespire! Thank you to all those who made this 7th edition a success!” Hidalgo tweeted Sunday.


Events at this year’s “day without cars” included a techno parade, picnic, bicycle fair, rollerblading marathon, and street art exhibitions, according to the event website.

“Make it an outing with family or friends: put on your roller skates, hop on your bicycle or get on your walking shoes, and set off to take in the sights of Paris. You’ll find the capital has never been this quiet!” the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau website said.

People walk along the Champs Elysees Avenue, Paris, during the “day without cars”, with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. It is the seventh year the city has held a car free day in an attempt to reduce traffic and ease air pollution.

AP Photo/Lewis Joly

Hidalgo, who is eyeing a bid for the French presidency next year, is working on a plan to drastically reduce car traffic in Paris, France 24 reported.

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