Paris 2030: space for cars to be halved in the Avenue de la Grande Armée

The key Parisian artery is set to drastically reduce the space devoted to traffic in favor of wider sidewalks and green spaces.

In Paris, the Comité Grande-Armée presented the Avenue de la Grande-Armée transformation project to Parisian elected representatives, merchants and local residents last week. This comes just months after the completion of the Porte Maillot project and a year before the start of the Paris Olympic Games, which will transform the avenue into an Olympic artery.

The major thoroughfare-which stretches from Place de l’Étoile toward the suburbs-is a key road, famous among Parisians, mirroring the Champs Élysées on the other side of the Arc de Triomphe. This is set to change by 2030, and when the design by Philippe Chambaretta Architects is completed, the space reserved for cars will be roughly halved.

PCA-STREAM, Grande Armée 2030, Paris, France. Courtesy PCA-STREAM

According to the submitted design, the six lanes that currently exist will be reduced to four, with an expanded bike lane instead, which will flank the car lanes on both sides, with additional space for parking bicycles and delivery vehicles. For the entire length of the Avenue, the two access and parking lanes on each side will become sidewalks, freeing up space for a pedestrian walkway and rain garden, with new planted areas designed to reduce sewer overflow by absorbing heavy rainfall.

At the critical point where the Avenue reaches the Porte Maillot intersection, however, a systematic reorganization is underway. This is a large square that was redeveloped in the 1970s, with the later addition of a large traffic circle that was intended to serve mainly to drain cars to the new ring road. Since 2021, work has been underway to restore the original street level. Now the green space will replace part of the old road and connect, via a new pedestrian path over the ring road, to the Bois de Bologne on the other side. These projects prepare the area to accommodate more pedestrians as nearby transportation expansions are nearing completion, making the area an important new hub.

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