It won’t be ready for the Olympics, but the heirs of Baron Haussmann are planning a dramatic reinvention of one of Paris’s grandest avenues to make it more of a draw for flâneurs and less of a traffic sandwich. The eight-lane Avenue de la Grande Armée, leading from the Arc de Triomphe to the financial district at La Défence, will surrender two lanes on each side to pedestrians, bicycles and green space (“rain gardens”), leaving four in the middle for cars and a central median given over to buses and taxis. As Feargus O’Sullivan of CityLab writes for Bloomberg, “cafe tables will be able to expand without offering users a free serving of carbon monoxide with every coffee”. There will be a new pedestrian bridge from Porte Maillot to the Bois de Boulogne. Assuming the new road surface won’t be cobbled, there might even be a more comfortable final approach to the Étoile for the Tour de France.
Visualisation courtesy PCA-Stream