Place de Clichy

The Place de Clichy is a square where four of the Paris arrondissements come together, the 8th, 9th, 17th and 18th.

During the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st this was not so much a public square as a motorized disaster area, with more than four thousand motor vehicles per hour careening around in a highly disorganized fashion, producing incessant traffic jams and perilous conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

Around 2006 the mayors of the four adjoining arrondissements started negotiating with the Paris mayor’s office and with various residents’ associations about how to rearrange the square and reallocate the space so as to make it more attractive and less dangerous for everyone. These negotiations went on for three years and included three public meetings in which hundreds of people had their say.

As a result, the space devoted to cars was reduced, the sidewalks were widened and re-paved, new and wider pedestrian crossings were installed, the center islands were enlarged and re-designed and a new system of street lighting was installed along with new street furniture and an additional Vélib’ bicycle station. Thirty-seven new trees were planted and a new bicycle lane was created to connect with the existing bike lanes coming in from the east and west (part of the signposted bike route # 5).

While they were at it, they also cleaned and restored the monument to Marshal Moncey in the center of the Place de Clichy. Marshal Moncey (1754–1842) was the general who took charge of the defense of Paris at this spot when it was invaded by the combined forces of Russia, Prussia, Austria, Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden in 1814.

After nearly eleven months of construction work the redesigned Place de Clichy was inaugurated in November 2010.

Although the transformation here is not as dramatic as at the Place de la République, about 4 km to the southeast, it is still a great improvement over the way it used to be.

Entrance to the Métro station at Place de Clichy

The Métro station at Place de Clichy is served by line 2 (east-west) and line 13 (north-south). Some elements remain of the original station entrance, which was designed in 1900 by Hector Guimard.

My photos in this post are from 2013. I revised the text in 2021.

11 thoughts on “Place de Clichy”

  1. I suppose the reason was not to speed up car traffic, which didn’t even exist when most of these streets were laid out. In old films of Paris, from the 1890s, it’s strange to see the one- and two-horse carriages going every which way across the squares.

  2. I believe I’ve been there before, and from what I recall, it can get pretty chaotic during rush hour, for as you wrote, it’s where four arrondissements come together. But like with all of Paris, it has a rich, construction history and it helps to learn about it to understand how it affects Parisian infrastructure today.

    1. The last time I was in Paris, before corona, they were working on rearranging Place de la Bastille. I hope I can visit again soon and try out some of their new bike lanes.

  3. It´s always the case for renovations,messy and time consuming at first.Although I see in here that it´s really urgent, since it´s a bottleneck. It´s always fascinating when large cities implement changes all for traffic safety and pedestrians.
    I applaud the tree planting!

    1. Yes, indeed. I forgot to mention that there is a large, recently renovated bookshop on Place de Clichy. I hope it will survive the pandemic.

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