Thick smog and pollution settled over Paris, and officials responded quickly by permitting free parking. The fabulous skyline in the city of lights, recently saw their beautiful city have a sharp increase in pollution.
The pollution levels increased last week, and the government of France decided to limit the cars on Paris streets. The French media is reporting that this Monday, the city will do an odd and even day allowance. By that it means an alternating traffic flow according to license plates will occur as drivers will be able to drive on specific days of the month. Parking will be free for odd plates on Monday, the 17th of March.
The French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he saw an improvement on Saturday, but they will wait until Tuesday to see if further limiting of traffic is necessary. They feel this is needed, even in light of the difficulties for Parisians.
This is the worst pollution they’ve seen since 2007.
Warm days with cool nights and no rain may have brought the pollution to elevate, as wind and rain help to disperse particles. The particle micrograms exceeded the maximum level and alerted officials, it was 100 micrograms over the alert level of 80 this past Friday.
What did the city do to help its people adjust to the increase in pollution? It provided free public transportation and free bikes over the weekend. Of course, authorities gave out advice on what to avoid, such as sports for children and other persons affected. The move made by France starts Monday, the 17th with the alternating traffic pattern. So only odd plates are allowed to drive in the city. This will be supervised by 700 police officers at around 60 checkpoints in the French capitol. Parking in Paris is free on the 17th and residents are encouraged to carpool.
Paris, more than other capitol in Europe is at risk for increased smog, due to a high number of cars and diesel on the roads. Now, due to a spring spell, the smog and pollution reached very high levels not seen in twenty years. In addition to officials limiting car use in Paris, the introduction of ride share in electric cars is being introduced.
Politically, the decision is criticized saying the difficulty involved is not doable, and opponents accuse them of relenting to pressure from Green partners in the Socialist country.
Pierre Chasseray says, “This is impossible to enforce, stupid and an attempt to win votes. He is president of an automobile lobby. Some feel the decision may have been rushed. The previous driving restriction lasted a day back in October of 1997. What can it hurt to try again? Paris will find out today as the city permits free parking for license plates ending with odd numbers.
The decision will be made if Paris will continue this Tuesday, when even plates will go with the even day, March 18th. Cars that are electric or carrying three people or more are exempt. This recent pollution in Paris has officials permitting free parking, for license plates according to days in hopes of bringing the smog and particle content down to more livable levels.
By Kim Troike