Starting in April, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, one of Paris's busiest and most charming boulevards, is going to get a lot more peaceful.
Paris's environmentally minded mayor, Anne Hidalgo, just announced plans to ban cars from the famed street, which has a whopping eight lanes of traffic, for one day every month. This new plan is just the latest Hidalgo initiative to improve air quality by reducing pollution, a growing problem in cities across France, a country with the highest percentage of diesel cars on the road in Europe. Previously, she called for a city ban on all diesel cars by 2020.
But this won't be the first time the famed avenue will go car-free. This past fall, Mayor Hidalgo set out to prove that "Paris can operate without cars" by prohibiting vehicles between Bastille and the Champs-Élysées as well as the outer Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes.
In similar efforts to combat global warming, Oslo plans to ban all cars from its city center within the next four years, and Dublin recently proposed to ban cars from some areas of the city by 2017.