Saturday, 9 August 2008

Pavements in Plogoff

Here’s a large village in Brittany with, running through it, the main road (not very busy) to the Land’s End of Finistère, Pointe du Raz. The commune was working on the layout of roadway, pavement, kerb, crossings, gutter, parking, and I liked what they were doing. In fact, most of it was finished and the masons were building the short, low, free-standing walls I've mentioned before (post of 28.7.08) that provide a support and anchor for flowering plants, prevent parking, separate pedestrians from traffic and look nice. (Click to enlarge.)

To the right of the wall at the front you see the new strip which will be the edge of the pavement. It’s very slightly raised above the level of the roadway but is distinguished from it by its different colour and texture, which makes the street seem wider.

That’s how crossings are done too:

Notice none of the garish yellow lines, or white equivalents, let alone the double ones, that disfigure English towns and villages as if it goes without saying that the aesthetics of the place can be casually sacrificed to the control of parking.

On country roads most you get an unobtrusive broken white line: you don’t park on the roadway side of the line, though you can on the other side if there’s room. This is on the road into Plogoff:

If they want to prevent parking on the pavement, they use walls if there is room or a blue metal barrier or blue posts:

In fact I never discovered the rules for parking. I got the impression that not much enforcement is needed, or they don’t fuss too much about it: those cars on the road on the right may be out of order. It seems the French, at least in these parts, aren’t prepared to ruin the place with lines and signs: the markings were understated and people were expected to be sensible and responsible. Which mostly they were.

I even liked the gutters. (The opposite pavement clearly hasn’t been redone.)

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