It is well known that Duclos Avenue is not the most “welcoming” street for drivers returning to Tours from the east. However, Jacques-Duclos Avenue, which stretches across 1.6 kilometers from Saint-Pierre-des-Corps to Tours (between Rue du Colombier and Pompidou Avenue) should soon see improvements.
Moving Towards More Green Space
This project is a part of a program created by the agglomeration of Tours' Plan for Urban Displacements (PDU). Most notably, the group wishes to “rebrand the principal entry points of the city in order to give them a more urban feel, reduce speed on the roads, and leave more space for plants and alternative modes of transportation.” In effect, Tours wants to engage in a profound restructuring of Duclos Avenue, which is traversed by 20,000 vehicles every day.
The operation ran into problems a short time ago because the street was believed to be classified as one of the city's “embankments." (Tours is at risk for floods due to being bordered to the north and south by rivers, as seen above.) Ways of reconfiguring the avenue to get around this status are, in fact, quite limited. But recent studies have given the project new hope, determining that Duclos Avenue, which runs past the Parc des Expositions and Ikea, is no longer a part of the embankment system set up by the Tours Valley. Therefore, the agglomeration now has the freedom to proceed with renovation as it likes.
Upon this discovery, the city hired a group of research departments to compete for a project management deal that will prepare for redevelopment on this axis. Jean-Marc Lafon, Director of Technical Services of Tours, underlined that the redevelopment of the avenue will, in all likelihood, integrate a 2-3 meter wide landscaped area in the middle of the avenue.
The urban planning project, which will expand the road to a width of 30 square meters, will leave space for slower modes of transportation, including a dedicated space for cyclists. Parking will also be re-organized on the northern part of the avenue, and it is not out of the question that a side road will be created specifically for this purpose.
If Tours ultimately recognizes the project’s importance to the community and plans to take it into fruition, a budget of 4-5 million euros will be allocated to the task. Construction work would then begin, at the earliest, in the beginning of 2016.
How is your city attempting to make its streets more welcoming to alternate forms of transportation? Are your city streets built to support bicyclists and pedestrians?
Original article, originally published in French, here.
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.