Paris Goes Green: Bans Pre-1997 Vehicles Due to Emissions

By mikey b , Jun 01, 2016 05:38 AM EDT

Paris is paving the way for a cleaner and greener city by eliminating the presence of vehicles deemed unfit for the French capital. Vehicles made from 1997 and earlier will no longer be allowed in the city. Mayor Anne Hidalgo has been pushing for a cleaner city since she assumed her position but this latest update is perhaps the biggest step towards a greener city.

In 2014, Paris had instituted alternate driving days where only odd or even-numbered plates would be allowed depending on the day. The city had also temporarily suspended fares for all types of public transportation. The Champs-Elysees, which Hidalgo described as a “canyon of pollution” is now car-free every first Sunday of the month, Slate reported.

Vehicle exhaust is responsible for two-thirds of the nitrogen dioxide pollution of the city. The ban will target around 160,000 vehicles.The plan has been to ban diesel fuel in the capital as well as closing off large portions of the city to cars by 2020. By then, only cars made from 2011 onwards will be allowed in the city, Jalopnik reported.

The measure has been described as elitist. However, car ownership has actually decreased in the past years and bike and car-sharing systems are very well developed already. Although, these practices and the new ban are only applicable in Paris. The outlying areas, where many of the businesses and jobs are located, are not covered by the measure.

The state will release six “air quality certificates to determine the age and models of the cars. The ban will be effective from July 1 and fines will be implemented starting October 1.

The Jalopnik report made light of the situation. Since it is now legal to import cars to US from 1991 and earlier, several iconic French cars will most probably be put up for sale. Examples include the Renault 5 Turbo, Citroen CX, Peugeot 205 GTI, and many motorcycles.

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