Paris officials ended the city-wide car ban they ordered after just one day this week, claiming that the temporary halt in traffic accomplished its goal of cutting down on harmful emissions.
The government announced over the weekend that French drivers whose license plates end with even numbers would be prohibited from driving on Monday, a mandate that would reportedly cut traffic by 50 percent and, in turn, lower the pollution in the air, CNN Money reported.
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"The Prime Minister is aware of the difficulties this could create for Parisians, but this extra step is required," the government said in a statement this week.
Drivers whose license plates end with odd numbers were originally supposed to be barred from the roads on Tuesday, but the administration lifted the ban effective Monday at midnight, according to The Guardian.
"Bravo, and thank you," ecology minister Philippe Martin said in a message to Parisians.
Officials said that 90 percent of residents complied with the driving ban order, which was issued once before in 1997.
CNN Money noted that, on some days, the air quality level in Paris has been worse that the crippling smog in Beijing.
"Minute particles of PM10 emitted by diesel exhausts, woodsmoke, and industrial emissions are blamed for causing the smog," The Guardian noted. "The level peaked last Friday at 180 microgrammes, more than double the safe limit of 80 microgrammes."
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