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Paris Plans to Remove Two Beltway Lanes to Cut Pollution

Mayor Anne Hidalgo says the plan would turn its Boulevard Périphérique “from a grey belt to a green belt.” But the idea still falls short of environmentalists’ hopes.

What the Paris beltway might look like in 2024.

What the Paris beltway might look like in 2024.

Diane Burg/APUR

After the 2024 Olympic Games end, Paris plans to close two lanes of its beltway to regular traffic in a bid to reduce air and noise pollution. 

The plan was announced Wednesday by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, fulfilling a long-term promise to remodel the Boulevard Périphérique, a beltway that has long been notorious for its congestion and pollution. It would transform the highway “from a grey belt to a green belt,” said Hidalgo, by reserving one lane in each direction for taxis, buses, car-pooling and emergency access. Overall, the highway would shrink to three fully accessible lanes in each direction, from a current norm of four.