Bicycles on a car-free Champs-Elysees Paris

Bicycle riders on a car-free Champs Elysees  Paris

People showed up by the zillions to enjoy a walk and a bike ride on car-free Avenue des Champs-Élysées on Sunday, May 8, 2016. More photos below.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo closed the iconic thoroughfare to motor vehicle traffic partly to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and to “bring Parisians back to this emblematic place which belongs to them.”

Temperatures in parts of Paris approached record highs of nearly 80°F on Sunday, when Paris in the spring is typically in the mid to high 60s F.

Sunday’s car-free day coincided with a commemoration of V-E Day. Germany’s military surrender of World War II was signed in Berlin on May 8, 1945.

Officials in Paris voted in February to close parts of the city to cars and open it to people on foot and on bike on a monthly basis. This is in addition to the existing traffic restrictions as part of the city’s “Paris Breathes” program.

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