ABC - At the Boundary of the City
Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Thameslink "Tube" - Perfection In Paris? (deux)
The above is Paris city in 1900. It is not as big as you might expect; the city itself is a very rough circle with a diameter of seven miles. Between 1841 and 1846 a defensive wall was build round the whole area, named after its progenitor, Prime Minister Adolphe Thiers (His successor actually implemented the plan!).
The expansion of the land area of Paris in 1860, by annexing bordering communities, created a situation where everything within the Thiers wall was Paris and everything without was not. The Thiers wall, with its accompanying berm and moat, led to a profound disruption and complication of the synergistic relationship between Paris and its suburbs.
Paris city council started conversion of some sections of the Rue Militaire into boulevards in 1861. In the 1920s, the complete dismantling of the enclosure permitted the further building of what has become a series of 23 connected boulevards encircling the city, which came to be known as the Boulevards of the Marshals almost fully realized by 1932. The Boulevards of the Marshals was built just inside the city limits, leaving a ring of vacant land just outside the perimeter.
Much later that bit of vacant land became a fast (?) dual carriageway.
Construction of the Périphérique began in 1958, on the remaining land of the Thiers Wall, anywhere from a few meters to a city block just 'outboard' of the Boulevards of the Marshals.
But the former gates in the wall (Portes) are firmly implanted on the geography and nomenclature of the city today.
So here is the original "Porte" on the road to the suburb of Montreuil (looking towards the city centre) ...... and here c/o Google Earth, is a modern aerial view of Porte de Montreuil showing the Boulevard Des Mareschals (left) and the perpherique with the mega roundabout on the right.
By 1956 a better Metro map looked like this.
Secondly, RER does provide relief for slow crowded Metro trains on some of the most important traffic flows across the city; RER D (GREEN) provides the only sensible public transport link between Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon.
Therefore the RER needs adding in.BLUE), E (PURPLE) and A (RED) as they approach the Metro boundary. Note also non-RER line K (MUD) is also shown.
The Metro Map (PLUS, plus quite a lot!) works at the edge of the city because the network is compact enough to create a diagram which is remarkably accurate geographically.
But that's OK for the periphery (perpherique!!) - but what happens in the centre, geographically or ...
Next Perfection in Paris ? blog : Thursday 21st January