Boulevard Périphérique (French pronunciation: [bulva? pe?ife?ik]), sometimes called Périph', is a controlled-access dual-carriageway ring road in Paris, France. With a few exceptions (see Structure and Layout), it is situated along Paris's administrative limit.
The speed limit is 70 km/h (45 mph). Each ring generally has four traffic lanes, with no hard shoulder. At junctions, circulating traffic in the rightmost lane (separated from the other lanes at this point by a continuous white line to the left) must yield priority to entering vehicles.
When travelling at the legal speed limit, it takes around 30 minutes to complete a full circuit.
Construction of the Périphérique began in 1958 on the former site of the Thiers Wall (the last remaining of the city walls of Paris). Destruction of this obsolete structure in the 1920s left a clear ring of vacant land surrounding Paris, which at first was claimed by slums and squatters. In order to alleviate traffic congestion, the Boulevard was planned along this land, and completed on 25 April 1973 under the presidency of Georges Pompidou. Providing a route for a quarter of all Parisian traffic movements, it quickly became the busiest road in France. It became a victim of its own success with widespread congestion, while the dense urban area surrounding it prevents its expansion.
The Périphérique consists of two concentric carriageways: the intérieur ("inner ring") and the extérieur ("outer ring"). Vehicles travel clockwise on the inner ring and counterclockwise on the outer ring. Some stretches of the road are sometimes referred to by cardinal direction. For example, in the southern half of the highway, the "inner ring" is designated as the Périphérique Ouest ("Western Ring") as traffic flows westbound whereas the "outer ring" is designated as the Périphérique Est ("Eastern Ring") as traffic flows eastbound. In the northern half, these designations are reversed.
The Boulevard Périphérique also has some differences:
There are generally four lanes in each of the two rings of the Boulevard. Variations exist:
The full circuit of the Boulevard Périphérique measures a total of 35.04 kilometres, as measured along the central reservation. The route closely follows the municipal boundaries of Paris. It diverges in three places; in the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes (where the roadway is entrenched and covered), and the Heliport of Paris. Because the Boulevard was built over the old Thiers Wall, its entrance/exit ramps and interchanges coincide with the city gates, or portes in that wall. The road crosses the River Seine via bridges upstream at Charenton/Bercy and downstream at Saint-Cloud/Issy.
Small distance markers are distributed evenly alongside the roadway:
The roadway varies in elevation:
The Boulevard Périphérique can carry the heaviest vehicles allowed by French regulations. There is a height restriction of 4.75 metres (15 feet, 8 inches).
On the inner ring at:
On the outer ring at:
In addition, the Boulevard Périphérique's exit ramps are often monitored with hand-held binocular-type radar devices; these are triggered when the 50 km/h (31 mph) exiting limit is exceeded.
About a hundred traffic cameras are installed on the boulevard and are directly connected to the control room of the Périphérique traffic management office. 166 emergency telephones are found every 500 metres along the boulevard (every 250 metres underground) which relay 7,000 calls per year. The emergency phones are all numbered, with odd numbered phones on the outer ring and even numbered phones on the inner ring road.
Eight police vehicles during the day and four at night patrol the boulevard constantly.
750 sensors embedded in the road surface record each passing vehicle. These sensors can measure the flow rate, the occupancy rate and velocity of traffic on a given portion.
Variable-message signs on the boulevard provide information on journey times, which are automatically generated every minute by a computer system using data collected by the sensors. This system provides information on the average journey time to the next major exit. These signs are also used to display general messages such as accidents, road closures, road works etc.
The Boulevard Périphérique is not the only means of bypassing the interior of the French capital:
|Junction number||Junction name||Outer lanes exits||Inner lanes exits|
|1||Porte de Bercy||A4||Quai de Bercy|
|2||Porte d'Ivry||None||Avenue d'Ivry|
|3||Porte d'Italie||A6B||Avenue d'Italie|
|4||Porte de Gentilly||A6A||Rue de l'Amiral Mouchez|
|5||Porte d'Orléans||Avenue Aristide Briand||Avenue du Maine|
|6||Porte de Châtillon||Avenue Pierre Brossollette||Avenue Jean Moulin|
|7||Porte de Vanves||Rue Ernest Renan||Boulevard Brune|
|8||Porte Brancion||Rue Jean Bleuzen||Avenue de la Porte-Brancion|
|9||Porte de la Plaine||Rue Camliant||Place des Insurges de Varsovie|
|10||Porte de Sèvres||None||Rue Balard|
|11||Porte de Saint-Cloud||Route de la Reine||Avenue de Versailles|
|12||Porte Molitor||Boulevard d'Auteuil||Rue Poussin|
|13||Porte d'Auteuil||A13||Rue Poussin|
|14||Porte de Passy||Rue de l'Hippodrome||Rue de Ranelagh|
|15||Porte de la Muette||None||Avenue H. Martin|
|16||Porte Dauphine||Route de Suresnes||Avenue Foch|
|17||Porte Maillot||Avenue Charles De Gaulle||Avenue de la Grande Armée|
|18||Porte de Champerret||Boulevard Bineau||Avenue de Villiers|
|19||Porte d'Asnières||Rue Victor Hugo||Rue de Tocqueville|
|20||Porte de Clichy||Boulevard Jean Jaurès||Avenue de Clichy|
|21||Porte de Saint-Ouen||Avenue Gabriel Péri||Avenue de Saint-Ouen|
|22||Porte de Clignancourt||Avenue Michelet||Boulevard Ornano|
|23||Porte de la Chapelle||A1||Rue de la Chapelle|
|24||Porte d'Aubervilliers||Avenue Victor Hugo||Rue d'Aubervilliers|
|25||Porte de la Villette||Avenue Jean Jaurès||Avenue de Flandre|
|26||Porte de Pantin||Avenue Jean Lolive||Avenue Jean Jaurès|
|27||Porte du Pré-Saint-Gervais||Rue Gabriel Péri||Rue Haxo|
|28||Porte des Lilas||Rue de Paris||Rue de Belleville|
|29||Porte de Bagnolet||A3||Rue Belgrand|
|30||Porte de Montreuil||Rue de Paris||Rue d'Avron|
|31||Porte de Vincennes||Avenue de Paris||Cours de Vincennes|
|32||Porte de Saint-Mandé||Avenue Victor Hugo||Avenue de Saint-Mandé|
|33||Porte Dorée||Route de ceinture du Lac-Daumesnil||Avenue Daumesnil|
|34||Porte de Charenton||Avenue de Gravelle||Rue de Charenton|