Champs-Elysees to be pedestrianized once a month to combat smog
The World Health Organization says fine-particle air pollution is responsible for about 42,000 premature deaths in France each year
The most famous boulevard in Paris, the Champs-Elysees, will be off-limits to cars on the first Sunday of every month starting in May.
The first pedestrian-only day will be May 8 instead of May 1, a public holiday, when many of the council workers needed to run the scheme will be off work, the office of Mayor Anne Hidalgo said.
From then on, cars will be banished from the two kilometer-long street on the first Sunday of every month, when museums in Paris are also free to the public.
Nine new routes will also be pedestrian-only every Sunday and public holiday — adding to the 13 already subject to traffic restrictions under the "Paris Respire" anti-pollution program.
The World Health Organization says fine-particle air pollution is responsible for about 42,000 premature deaths in France each year.
Ms Hidalgo, a Socialist, has made fighting the smog that periodically shrouds the French capital one of her top priorities.