Paris is undertaking pedestrian-friendly programs and promoting the expansion of car-free spaces as a result of the lengthy lockdowns and safety issues associated with COVID-19.

When the first COVID wave made it impossible for people to meet indoors in the majority of nations, several cities swiftly reimagined what life might be like outside. Some transformed previously car-heavy districts into hotspots for walking and cycling by constructing pedestrian-only streets, converting parking spaces into pop-up restaurants, and adding more bike lanes. Paris had already begun to become more pedestrian-friendly before the pandemic. The lower quays that run along the Seine river were fully pedestrianized in late 2016, and the change was made permanent in 2018. This was done as part of a city-wide initiative to lessen the number of cars. In order to decrease the amount of traffic from cars, more bike lanes have been added. By 2026, the city actually intends to build 180 km more bike lanes and 180,000 new bike parking spaces. Major thoroughfares, like the Rue de Rivoli in the heart of Paris, have been narrowed to one lane, while bike lanes have been widened to three automobile lanes. By 2026, the city also intends to plant 170,000 trees with the goal of cooling Paris and improving the quality of life for pedestrians. The bridge connecting the Eiffel Tower and Trocadero will also be entirely pedestrianized in advance of the city’s hosting of the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Overall, locals have welcomed the numerous improvements and look forward to more. Locals adore it because there are fewer cars and a more laid-back atmosphere.