Monday, May 11, 2009

Pedestrian Crossings

A few years ago, I would have said pedestrian crossings in France were rare & purely symbolic.
Neither drivers nor pedestrians took much notice of them.

Recently, things are improving & not only are they being used & respected (to some extent…) in cities & towns but they are appearing even in villages.
The very minor cross-roads near our house has just been re-worked & now sports a full set of pedestrian crossings, with white stripes, lowered kerbs and even concrete dots for the visually handicapped.
Good work is also being done in locally narrowing roads & providing central refuges at the crossing points, which has the multiple purpose of reducing crossing distance, preventing overtaking there (except for those who overtake on the wrong side of the central refuge) & generally encouraging "calm" driving by the more tortuous road shape.
All very encouraging.

One thing still badly lacking though, compared with UK, is the zig-zag-lined space either side of the crossing, within which no parking is allowed.
In France, even the official, marked, parking bays often extend right up to the crossing on both sides.
With obvious serious risk for, especially, children unseen & unseeing until it is too late.

Benchmarking still has some way to go, even in Europe.

Parting thot: "Whenever there is a conflict between human rights and property rights, human rights must prevail." - Abraham Lincoln

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