Europe Is Making Moves To Ditch Dirty Cars. Trump Wants More Of Them.

Paris is a city with a vision: The end of the automobile age. Dependence on gas- and diesel-powered vehicles has come at a huge cost to Parisians’ health and the environment in the metropolis of 12 million people.

The French capital, regularly covered in a thick blanket of smog, has the worst air quality of any city in western Europe, according to a Greenpeace-commissioned study.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo believes it’s time for radical action. She wants the city to become a fossil fuel-free zone, a place where people get around on foot, bicycles, public transit and ― if necessary ― in electric vehicles.

She has said that diesel cars will be banned by 2024, and last year she announced that all combustion-engine cars must be gone by 2030. A network of Parisian neighborhoods already goes car-free each Sunday, and cars are banned from a stretch of road along the river Seine in the city center. The city government is considering making public transit free to entice drivers to give up vehicle ownership altogether.

A family poses on the Champs-Elysées on a car-free day in Paris last year.
Christophe Najdovski, the deputy mayor of Paris responsible for transportation, told HuffPost that the ultimate aspiration is to pedestrianize the heart of Paris. “Parisians need breathing spaces. We also need to create the conditions for the development of alternatives so mobility is experienced in different ways. Less stress, less noise, less pollution.”

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