Paris Champs Elysees: Crowds flock to car-free thoroughfare

People walk on the Champs Elysees in Paris (08 May 2016)  
Thousands of people have taken advantage of a move by the authorities in Paris to close the famous Champs Elysees thoroughfare to traffic.
Enthusiastic crowds strolled among the shops and cafes of the eight-lane avenue, which is normally choked with cars, trucks and motorbikes.
The car-free day is being repeated on the first Sunday of each month.

It is the brainchild of Mayor Anne Hidalgo and is designed to lower excessively high air pollution.
The first of the monthly pedestrian-only days was declared a convincing success by tourists and residents of the city who were able to enjoy the 2km long (1.2-mile) avenue leading to the Arc de Triomphe.

People walk on the car-free Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris (08 May 2016)  
A man performs during a street show on the Champs Elysees in Paris (08 May 2016) 
Pedestrians were able to watch a variety of street performers on the famous thoroughfare

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (left) speaks with Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo (right) on the avenue des Champs-Elysees (08 May 2016) 
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (left) and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo (right) both enjoyed the occasion

"It's magnificent," AFP news agency reported city resident Roger, 67, who lives just off the Champs-Elysees, as saying.
"All of Paris should be like this," he said.
Paris city authorities have taken various measures to reduce pollution levels, including rental bicycles, cycling paths and a fleet of electric cars