Project outline - Route de Ferney / Chemin Sous-Bois

Nations: towards a sustainable neighborhood
An insight into Swiss travel advancements, improving transport links
1 Apr 2023

Straddling the city of Geneva and the communes of Grand-Saconnex and Pregny-Chambésy, the Jardin des Nations district is unique as it is home to most of the Canton’s international organizations and activities.

The Canton, the city of Geneva and the communes of Grand-Saconnex and Pregny-Chambésy, in cooperation with the Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations, commissioned an interdisciplinary study to guide future decisions on the development of this strategic sector. Its objective was to achieve a new and innovative vision to supplement the district master plan for Jardin des Nations, which dates from 2005. The study helped identify a vision, shared by more than 200 stakeholders, for the environment, the landscape, spatial planning, mobility and security.

In 2019, the first milestone for transforming mobility in the Nations area was passed when the Léman Express began running, providing a high frequency rail connection between Genève-Sécheron station and a network of 45 stations in Geneva, Vaud and France.

A green pathway linking Versoix and Genève-Sécheron

By 2030, Genève-Sécheron should be connected to the communes of Pregny-Chambésy, Bellevue, Genthod, Collex-Bossy and Versoix through a greenway for active mobility. This development will offer a continuous, safe, comfortable and attractive route over more than 10 km for all cyclists and pedestrians. The first stage by 2025 will link Pregny-Chambésy to Versoix.

The green pathway will connect commune centers, Léman Express stations – Chambésy, Les Tuileries, Genthod-Bellevue, Creux-de-Genthod, Versoix-Gare and Pont-Céard, schools and the main public infrastructure facilities. It will be a true complement to the Route de Suisse/Route de Lausanne and will strengthen the active mobility network by linking up the region’s different routes: local, cantonal, intercantonal to Vaud and cross-border to neighboring France.

Plan of future mobility facilities

Tram des Nations: a project for mobility and ecology

By 2026, the number 15 tram route will be extended to Ferney-Voltaire. This project will improve connections between the different spaces it crosses, keeping the Route de Ferney for trams, bikes and pedestrians. More than just a tramline, the project will redesign mobility and public spaces throughout the area. New pedestrian routes will be created to provide safe and convenient connections, for example between the two sides of the Route de Ferney.

Route des Nations and a new park and ride to promote sustainable multimodal transport

The tram extension up to the border and its road counterpart, the Route des Nations, are the two cornerstones of the strategy for reorganizing mobility throughout the Nations area: road traffic will be concentrated underground and directly connected to the new Grand-Saconnex motorway junction from the Place des Nations. This will help free up overground networks, beginning with the Route de Ferney, which will be closed to traffic in order to accommodate a dedicated route for the tram extension and a safe cycle path enabling fast travel.

To encourage and support a modal shift in cross-border travel, the P+R P47 car park next to the airport will need to be enlarged from 200 to 600 spaces and connected conveniently and efficiently to the tram and active mobility networks. Existing cycle paths will be expanded to obtain an unbroken network over the entire Jardin des Nations, while the tramline route will be the focus for redeveloping public spaces in favor of pedestrians.

The Route des Nations is expected to open in the first quarter of 2024, followed by the start of construction for the tram. By 2030, Jardin des Nations will have completed its transformation to become a landmark district for mobility and the green transition.

* Thierry Messager is Director of the Lac-Rhône region at the Cantonal Transport Office.
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