The World’s Widest Avenue Has 16 Lanes, Takes an Eternity to Cross

Avenida 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, holds the Guinness Record for the widest avenue in the world, at approximately 140 meters. It features a total of 16 lanes, so crossing from one side to the other is quite an undertaking.

The history of Avenida 9 de Julio can be traced back to the glory days of the Argentinian capital. Buenos Aires was called the ‘Paris of South America’, so local authorities decided to cement that reputation by building a monumental piece of infrastructure inspired by Paris’ Champs Elysee. Only a simple copy wasn’t enough they wanted something larger, more impressive, so they settled on an urban highway passing through the center of the city that was double the width of the famous French avenue. It was a colossal project that took almost half a century to finish, but in 1980, Avenida 9 de Julio was finally completed. It still holds the record for ‘world’s widest avenue’.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Sking 

Creating enough space for an avenue wider than any other in the center of a metropolis was in itself a tremendous challenge that resulted in the demolition of 60,000 square meters of urban real estate and the displacement of thousands of residents just to complete its first section.

Today, Avenida 9 de Julio remains as impressive as when it was inaugurated in 1980, and twice as chaotic. With a total of 16 lanes from one side to the other, as well as four additional lanes for public transportation buses, a central pedestrian area, and no less than seven sidewalks in between the car lanes, it takes quite a while to traverse.

@zeidanerWidest avenue in the world🇦🇷⏰

♬ original sound – zeidaner

One TikToker recently filmed himself walking from one side of Avenida 9 de Julio to the other, and it took him a whopping 4 minutes and 17 seconds, even though he claimed to be walking faster than he usually does. That includes all the time he spent waiting at traffic lights. By comparison, the average avenue takes only 25 seconds to cross.

Interestingly, Avenida 9 de Julio claimed the title of ‘world’s widest avenue’ with the help of two other streets. On the east side of the avenue is Carlos Pellegrini Street and to the west is Cerrito Street. In practice, both function as extra lanes for the avenue, so their combined six lanes are taken into account when measuring the width of Avenida 9 de Julio. Without them, it would only be 120 meters wide, compared to the official 140 meters.