A man takes an early morning bicycle ride across a bridge near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

As reported by Reuters Paris is aggressively working towards a cyclable city , banning cars outside the Louvre and announcing a two-way four kilometer dedicated bike lane along Rue De Rivoli, one of Paris’ most iconic streets. This connection will tie together Place de la Bastille and Place de la Concorde.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo noted that Paris will be doubling cycling lanes in the next four years. Climate is the number one priority. Less cars means less pollution. 2017 will be the year of the bicycle.” The city will also ban private cars from the historical Place du Carrousel du Louvre, which cuts through the Tuileries park and the square in front of the Louvre, the world’s most visited museum with about 9 million visitors per year.

Private car use has had a 30 per cent reduction in the city as Velib and Autolib, the bike share and the electric vehicle share has become popular.Paris is also planning a public  tram bus along the Seine’s right bank  as it prepares for the 2024 Olympic bid.

While most places would be gloating over such achievements, Paris believes it can do better, noting that Lyon and Bordeaux have already banned diesel cars and reopened public access to the riverbanks. Paris has been experiencing peak pollution levels directly attributable to diesel vehicles which will soon be banned. The municipality also opened up the stretch of highway on the right bank of the Seine as a new pedestrian zone despite strong protests by vehicular commuters and  critics.

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