TIME europe

Paris Restricts Car Usage to Combat Smog

FRANCE-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION
A view of the Eiffel Tower seen through thick smog, on March 14, 2014, in Paris. Patrick Kovarik—AFP/Getty Images

The plan being introduced calls for drivers to only use their cars on alternate days according to odd or even numbers on their license plates, to encourage commuters to cycle and use electric car-sharing programs introduced last week

France will restrict auto use in Paris beginning Monday in an effort to reduce dangerous pollution levels in the country’s capital.

Paris’ high number of private car drivers and France’s diesel subsidies make the city more susceptible to high levels of smog than other European capitals, and a recent week of a warm, sunny weather has made the air quality worse, Reuters reports. Paris has 147 micrograms of particulate matter per cubic meter of air, compared with 81 in Berlin and 79.7 in London.

The plan being introduced Monday calls for drivers to only use their cars on alternate days according to odd or even numbers on their license plates, to encourage commuters to cycle and use electric car-sharing programs introduced last week. Political opponents called the plan tough to enforce and politically motivated ahead of municipal elections at the end of the month, while proponents said it would improve public safety.

[Reuters]

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