City authorities in Paris on Tuesday (2 August) took the first steps towards creating a pedestrian precinct in the heart of the capital.
City authorities in Paris on Tuesday (2 August) took the first steps towards creating a pedestrian precinct in the heart of the capital. The idea is to give tourists and other pedestrians a less hazardous view of the city's many famous landmarks.
SYNOPSIS: If it had to be done, better it be now in August when the majority of Parisians leave the capital for their annual summer holiday. For it wasn't quite a day in which the city's urban planners could be proud. At issue, is a five kilometre (3 mile) pedestrians' corridor running from the Arcade Triomphe, along the Champs Elysees, to the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
Barricades at the normally busy Place de la Concorde confused angry motorists and it wasn't long before huge traffic jams built up. A hot summer afternoon added to their misery.
And for the often hard pressed tourists who normally risk their lives running the gauntlet on the capital's broad avenues, it seemed many were unaware of them unique promenade set up for them, and they stayed pretty much to the pavements. The authorities must be having second thoughts and will be thankful when the experiment ends on August 16th. But in the meantime the pedestrians rule.