Paris mayor faces pushback over plans for car-free Eiffel Tower zone

Removing cars from an expanse around the Eiffel Tower to create a green pathway sounds pretty good on paper, but the mayor of Paris is struggling to win over residents and above all the police force to revamp one of the city's most celebrated views.

Thousands of tourists jostle every day to snap the Eiffel Tower from across the River Seine on the hill at Trocadero, with its magnificent gardens and a modernist palace housing museums.

Walking to Trocadero is less romantic, however, requiring the crossing of two major intersections and the often traffic-clogged Pont d'Iena bridge.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo said to general surprise this week that she wants to push ahead with a project to kick out the cars and create a continuous garden between the Eiffel Tower and the Trocadero esplanade.

But while she hopes to take advantage of the 2024 Summer Olympics to begin the project as soon as the Games end, her critics -- and most importantly the Paris police chief -- are resisting the plan.

The proposal is in keeping with other efforts by the Socialist mayor to squeeze cars out of Paris and make the city greener, a push that has divided residents and political opponents who say her policies go too far.

A trio of Japanese tourists taking photos next to the busy Pont d'Iena bridge agreed that the plan would make a difference.

The view was "disappointing", Mahiro told AFP, saying the vista would be "more beautiful with less cars".



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