Tuesday marked the 126th anniversary of public access to the Eiffel Tower, which opened on March 31, 1889. Throughout its construction it was marked with controversy and deemed a disaster by France’s best aesthetic minds. The hope was that the World’s Fair “gimmick” would be demolished as soon as possible. Today, however, the Eiffel Tower is an icon, a Paris landmark and surprisingly eco-friendly – sort of.
After a major spike in air pollution earlier this week, Paris city mayor Anne Hidalgo asked authorities to prevent one in every two cars from taking to the capital's streets and make all public transport temporarily free until at least Monday in an effort to reduce pollution. With limited exceptions such as taxis, emergency vehicles, and electric cars, only personal vehicles with licenses that begin with odd numbers will be allowed on the city streets.