Road 1 is a four- to six-lane divided carriageway that runs north-south through Jerusalem and separates Israeli and Palestinian sectors. We argue that this thoroughfare brings the frontier into the centre of Jerusalem while at the same time contributing to Israeli spatial continuity. In many ways, Road 1 functions like the bypass roads of the Occupied Territories, which may cause more long-term damage than the infamous separation barrier, simply because roads are among the most enduring of urban interventions. The paper investigates Road 1 as both standard inner city infrastructure and cultural artefact, where speed, aesthetics and modernisation are intertwined. Even in a city like Jerusalem, where sectarian views are extreme, our findings demonstrate the difficulty of separating political and urban expediencies.