Paris was only open yesterday to cars with odd-numbered license plates. Even if you had the most lovingly-restored Citröen DS Pallas known to Gallic society, if that plate was divisible by 2, you had to stay out. This was an attempt to reduce pollution, and it must have really worked, because Paris is done with all that nonsense now.
Well, merde, that was easy. Ecology Minister Phillipe Martin told everyone "Bravo, and thank you," and that was it. It seems that over 90% of Parisian drivers actually complied with the restriction, and the government did its best to help by making public transportation free.
The dangerous smog levels that Paris had been suffering under – caused in large part by the Diesel particulates from Paris' many Diesels – was over double the safe limit, but after a single day of half the car population, it now seems under control.
It can't, of course, just be the car ban – weather is playing a factor here, as well. The ban isn't particularly popular – 64% of people are against it, and that may be part of why it was so short-lived. Traffic was, of course, much better, but even so people are rarely excited to give up driving.
It does seem a bit odd that this was all sorted in one day, but I suspect many Parisians aren't interested in looking down any gift-horse throats. Experts are still evaluating the effect the ban had, so it remains to be seen if this will be something that gets repeated.
That should give dedicated Parisian gear heads a chance to score some even and odd plates, just in case. And remember, people, zero is even.