Traffic ban proposed for Paris highway in bid to encourage new travel patterns

September 12, 2016

Paris plans to turn a stretch of highway on the right bank of the river Seine into a pedestrian zone in an attempt to reduce pollution despite protests from drivers. The Voie Georges Pompidou between the Louvre museum and the Place de la Bastille area is closed to motor traffic during the summer, but city officials are keeping it closed in a bid to have it transformed into a riverside park. An estimated 43,000 vehicles a day use the expressway when it is open to traffic. Opponents say the scheme will increase journey times for commuters and just push vehicle pollution elsewhere. The plan has caused concern among drivers, particularly business users, but the city has been encouraged by 2013’s successful traffic ban on the Seine’s left bank of the highway between the Musee d'Orsay and the Eiffel Tower. The area is now a popular park with outdoor cafes and sports facilities. The closure is currently subject to a six month trial, but city authorities will vote on a proposal for a permanent closure on 26 September.

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