Skip to Content
Streetsblog Chicago home
Streetsblog Chicago home
Log In
Streetsblog Network

Paris Kicks Off Monthly Car-Free Sundays on the Champs-Élysées

10:40 AM CDT on May 9, 2016

Photo: Celesteh
Photo: Celesteh
false

It's been almost six months since Paris held its big car-free day, a jubilant event that temporarily cleared the air of poisonous diesel emissions and imparted a sense of how great streets could be without the constant roar of motor vehicles.

Now Mayor Anne Hidalgo is moving to make "open streets" a monthly event. Richard Layman at Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space, based in DC, says it's good to see Paris thinking big:

Started in Bogotá, Colombia, in the 1970s but raised to the level of global prominence in the 21st century by former Mayor Enrique Peñalosa, who resuscitated the program in the mid-1990s... Ciclovia is a program where streets are closed every Sunday in favor of walking, biking, and other community activities.

Now called "Open Streets" initiatives, they have spread across the world.

It's important when doing this to not be timid, to be forward and prominent, closing major streets. DC's past attempts at such a program have been timid affairs, located in distant quadrants of the city.

Paris is going big with a new Sunday Street program of its own, inaugurating its new monthly street closure program by closing its single most important street, the Champs-Élysées.

Elsewhere on the Network today: An Urban Indy reader writes about why she supports the Indianapolis region's big ballot initiative this November to build a regional transit system. The Political Environment looks at how Wisconsin politics could shape a looming water policy decision with major land use implications around the Great Lakes. And Green City Blue Lake takes a hard look at the Cleveland region's ever-expanding sprawl and the fallout for the regional housing market.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Chicago

Good karma for a pickup truck driver: Motorist helps save an endangered Green Line rider from serious injury

It was chicken soup for the sustainable transportation reporter's soul to hear of a quick-thinking motorist protecting a CTA user from grievous harm.

February 21, 2024

Map: Ventra suggests Black history landmarks on the South Side you can visit by transit

Ventra provided a list of African-American historical sites, mostly on or near King Drive, and not far from the Green Line. Streetsblog created an interactive map to help you find them.

February 20, 2024
See all posts