Nov 25, 2017 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Finding Bright Solutions to Smog in the ‘City of Lights’

Mar 22, 2015 03:22 PM EDT

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Can't find the Eiffel Tower? It appears that most of Paris is choking on a thick smog that is plaguing most of northern France. In recent months French authorities have claimed that major cities in northern France, such as Paris, have been contributing greatly to an ever-growing problem of air pollution in the area. So in order to combat the haze of smog, French officials are coming up with a bright solution to save the tarnished facade of the "City of Lights".

After city mayor Anne Hidalgo requested that French authorities take drastic measures in a bid to drive down pollution in the nation's capital, French officials this weekend called for a temporary ban on motor vehicles that will take place come Monday. While only temporary, the emergency measure that will come into action Monday Mar. 23 will ban half of the drivers in northern France from taking to the streets of Paris, at least for a couple of days. 

"I am delighted the state has agreed to put in place a partial driving ban on Monday, which I have been requesting for several days" Hidalgo says.

While traffic for the few drivers left will be delightful open, French officials hope that the drastic measures that were also implemented a year ago on Mar.17, will help alleviate the spike in air pollution levels. On Saturday, air quality control monitors predicted that dangerous particulates in the air could reach toxic, even carcinogenic, levels in the blood system if pollution were not combated immediately. And so French authorities answered their call.

While not even one of the largest polluting regions of the world, in fact only a fourth of what Beijing produces on average and only a tenth of Ahvaz in Iran, Paris hopes to set a precedence for other nations in how they deal with the issue of air pollution. And with great efficacy in the short-term ban, perhaps other major cities will pick up on the craze too.

How Did Paris Decide Who Drives and Who Stays?

The answer to this problem was simple. Only vehicles with number plates ending in odd numbers would be allowed to take to the roads come Monday, but there were a few exceptions to the rule. Ambulances, taxis and even electric cars received a pardon, so if you invested in electric,  you invested right.

For the rest of the city and its large suburban population, who commute to Paris for work, the city has offered free public transportation throughout the temporary ban to convince the public to comply with the safety measures.

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