The Citroën DS 19, described as "technically unsurpassed, completely inimitable and the most beautiful car of all time" may never again grace the streets of Paris. Neither will the working man's 2CV or Deux Chevaux, "the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car." That's because as of July 1 this year, all cars built before 1997 are banned from the city center on weekdays. This is a good thing for air quality, but as Alissa Walker notes in Gizmodo, perhaps not a good thing for Égalité.
For those with vintage Citroëns, classic car owners can still drive their pretty smog-makers on the weekends, and they can always drive them out in the country. But these types of blanket policies still manage to anger residents. As with a similar ban in Mexico City, some people are outraged that older cars are targeted as they’re usually owned by the city’s poorest residents, who rely on those vehicles for their jobs.On Slate, Henry Grabar picks up on the theme.
Not surprisingly, these anti-pollution measures have been perceived as elitist. The ban on older cars, one of the big French automobile organizations announced this month, is “socially unjust,” and “penalizes those of modest means first.”