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PHOTOS: Paris launches car-free Sundays on Champs Élysées to curb pollution

Thousands flocked to Paris' Champs Élysées on Sunday, May 8, to enjoy a car-free day on the typically jam-packed, eight-lane road.

Locals and tourists gathered in droves to enjoy the event, which was launched by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo in an effort to reduce the city's pollution.

The 1.2-mile (2-km) avenue marks one of the city's busiest areas and is a tourist hotspot due to its picturesque views of the Arc de Triomphe and numerous cafés and shops.

The famous stretch will now be devoid of cars one Sunday per month, with the next opportunity arriving on June 5, 2016.

"Every foreign tourist who comes to Paris naturally wants to visit the Champs Élysées. But we want to bring Parisians back to this emblematic place which belongs to them," Hidalgo said, according to the Independent.

"When you walk on the avenue without the din of traffic, you rediscover perspective, the facades, the scenery."

Hidalgo said the initiative is one of many planned for 2016, with nine other locations eventually set to follow the same once-monthly, car-free model.

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