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Old February 15th, 2010, 03:57 AM   #41
brisavoine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdw35 View Post
Is this carriageway bidirectional? Can someone explain the lane layout?
Left lane and right line are for traffic in each direction (northbound and southbound). Central lane is used to pass cars (both northbound and southbound traffic have the right to use the central lane to pass cars; if a car is already driving on the central lane and coming in your direction, then you don't have the right to use the central lane of course, you can use it only if the way is clear).
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The question does not make sense if the information that the optimum (distance-wise) path was chosen is not given to us.
I explained it at the beginning of the thread: we go in as straight a line as possible, only we don't use motorways and highways that go through unbuilt areas. What it means in the context of the route I have selected is we basically go in a straight line from the beginning to the end of our journey except for a large airport that we bypass (instead of driving through it in a long tunnel). Incidently, this route also follows a major railway line all along (i.e. the railway line also bypasses the airport), althoug this railway line doesn't appear in the pictures.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #42
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The middle lane of this sort on 3 lane carriageway (km 2.0) is also called "suicide lane". It was quite common solution on the roads some decades ago. Still can be met in Belgium and Ukraine and probably somewhere else in Europe. Do not know where, though. It is presumably rare in France too. In any case, I have not seen "suicide lanes" in France till Brisavoine posted his pics.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 08:05 PM   #43
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'Suicide' passing lanes were eliminated from the USA no later than the early to mid-1970s.

Nowadays in the USA, a 'shared' center lane is used ONLY for left turn waiting.

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Old February 15th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr71 View Post
The middle lane of this sort on 3 lane carriageway (km 2.0) is also called "suicide lane". It was quite common solution on the roads some decades ago. Still can be met in Belgium and Ukraine and probably somewhere else in Europe. Do not know where, though. It is presumably rare in France too. In any case, I have not seen "suicide lanes" in France till Brisavoine posted his pics.
There was a long one near were I grew up in southern France (for a stretch of at least 25 km). We drove on it every Sunday to go visit my grandparents. It didn't feel that dangerous. You just have to look ahead and appreciate long distances. If you feel too uncomfortable about it, just don't use the central lane.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 10:21 PM   #45
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I know how to use it Even more, I do not mind to overtake on it. I am just wondering whether many of such 3 lanes roads still exist in France. If yes, I would like to know where it is and with a huge pleasure would have seen one.
I traveled through/within France many times never seeing one.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 12:03 AM   #46
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I traveled through/within France many times never seeing one.
Well, France is a big country containing 26 regions, 100 departments, and more than a million kilometers of paved roads. It would take a lifetime to explore all the different areas of France, let alone drive on all the paved roads.

Here is a 3-lane road near my hometown in southern France (in the Midi-Pyrénées region):
[img]http://i47.************/2hod0uq.jpg[/img]

I don't have statistics for all of France. I only have statistics for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. In this region, there are 394 km of national roads. Out of these 394 km, 35 km are 3-lane roads. That means in this region the 3-lane roads make up 9% of all the national road length. Note that there may also be some 3-lane departmental roads, but I only have data for the national roads.

PS: The 3-lane road near my hometown (picture above) is a departmental road, it's not a national road anymore (it was declassified, like many national roads these past 20 years).

Last edited by brisavoine; February 16th, 2010 at 12:08 AM.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 01:17 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
Well, France is a big country containing 26 regions, 100 departments, and more than a million kilometers of paved roads. It would take a lifetime to explore all the different areas of France, let alone drive on all the paved roads.
Off course I utterly agree. It would be impossible


Quote:
PS: The 3-lane road near my hometown (picture above) is a departmental road, it's not a national road anymore (it was declassified, like many national roads these past 20 years).
Let me copy those 2 pics to Polish thread. It is really interesting. Thanks.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
I don't have statistics for all of France. I only have statistics for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. In this region, there are 394 km of national roads. Out of these 394 km, 35 km are 3-lane roads. That means in this region the 3-lane roads make up 9% of all the national road length. Note that there may also be some 3-lane departmental roads, but I only have data for the national roads..
True 3-lane roads or 2+1? The latter being quite common in the countryside.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 07:20 PM   #49
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ex-N20 just north of Montauban is also 3 lanes (not 2+1).
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Old February 16th, 2010, 09:54 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanico View Post
True 3-lane roads or 2+1? The latter being quite common in the countryside.
They don't make a distinction between the two in the stats.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 02:35 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr71 View Post
The middle lane of this sort on 3 lane carriageway (km 2.0) is also called "suicide lane". It was quite common solution on the roads some decades ago. Still can be met in Belgium and Ukraine and probably somewhere else in Europe. Do not know where, though.
I also saw this 3rd lane(s?) on Croatian A9. Didn't feel unsafe.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 03:10 AM   #52
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Great thread, how bout' some more pics?
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Old February 18th, 2010, 03:27 AM   #53
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In my travels through France, I don't remember ever having seen such suicide lanes. All I know from Costa Rica is the US style shared centre lane for left turns, which are however by Costa Rican drivers sometimes abused as suicide lanes.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 03:39 AM   #54
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Ok, let's continue our journey...

Important note: At this point in our journey, Brisavoine has turned Red and decided to take you straight to the heart of the Communist 'Red Belt' (Ceinture Rouge) of Paris. I could have selected a more middle-class itinerary, but I've decided to opt for the most Communist, most working-class, most ugly (or beautiful, depending on your tastes) route towards Central Paris. In the areas that we're going to cross, the French Communist Party has been the master since the 1930s, and is still ruling most of these municipalities today.

So comrades, en route to the decadent bourgeois heart of Paris through the bright Socialist Paradise of the communisme réel ! Long live the Internationale!

PS: The pictures were taken by the Komsomol, edited by the Agitprop, and published by the Izvestia.

Km 27.5: We enter the Ceinture Rouge with this rather classy modernist building. In those inner suburbs, however, most other buildings are quite far from that architectural quality.
[img]http://i49.************/14wgk1x.jpg[/img]

Km 28.0: A crane-like sculpture looking like a giant bird of prey (I checked up close). Don't you love Socialist art?
[img]http://i45.************/ajwcvm.jpg[/img]

Km 28.5: Our first glance at Stalinist architecture-cum-immigrant ghetto... Here we're driving on Avenue Marcel Cachin (a founding member of the French Communist Party who played a prominent role in the party until his death in 1958; note that Marcel Cachin approved of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in 1940 and was the first foreigner to receive the Soviet Union's Order of Lenin in 1957).
[img]http://i49.************/8xt2ci.jpg[/img]

Km 29.0:
[img]http://i48.************/2ly35eu.jpg[/img]

Km 29.5:
[img]http://i50.************/2hf2r2v.jpg[/img]

Km 30.0: Our first Haussmannian building!! How ironic that we come across our first Haussmannian building right in the middle of Communist la-la land. You see, in Paris, even the Communists have a weak spot for that most conspicuous symbol of decadent bourgeois architecture.
[img]http://i45.************/er0gzp.jpg[/img]

Km 30.5:
[img]http://i49.************/wsok78.jpg[/img]

Km 31.0: Even the Red Cross is... red.
[img]http://i45.************/2nk5jlx.jpg[/img]

Km 31.5:
[img]http://i48.************/fy1ora.jpg[/img]

Km 32.0: Ah, the joy of Stalinism...
[img]http://i49.************/e836mx.jpg[/img]

Km 32.5: We're now driving on Avenue Youri Gagarine in East Berlin Greater Paris. The Komsomol (Communist Youth) have even hung pennants above the avenue, just like in the good old Soviet days.
[img]http://i48.************/16h8b4n.jpg[/img]

Km 33.0: It so much feels like this picture could have been taken in a Soviet city somewhere in the Ural...
PS: Ahead of us lies Avenue Maximilien Robespierre. Let's guillotine the aristocrats!
[img]http://i49.************/rm4e4j.jpg[/img]

Km 33.0 (looking right)
A Soviet city in the Ural I tell you, complete with the old Soviet grey lady carrying her bag, and the nouveau riche driving a flashy car with gilded hubcaps.
[img]http://i46.************/2r43csx.jpg[/img]

Km 33.5:
[img]http://i45.************/vqmbfq.jpg[/img]

Km 33.5: (looking right)
This is the only museum of contemporary art outside of Central Paris. Opened only 5 years ago at the initiative of the local Communist authorities, it created quite a buzz in Paris because it was the first time a cultural happening originated in the suburbs and not in Central Paris. Of course the superior Central Parisians snub it saying that it is hard to reach by Métro.
[img]http://i46.************/2afbguu.jpg[/img]

Km 33.5: (looking back)
Stalinist architcture and modern art. Vision of a Socialist paradise? Not your usual suburb at any rate. And probably the closest you can get to East Berlin in Western Europe.
[img]http://i49.************/35hiq1w.jpg[/img]

All right comrades, that's all for today. Let's take a rest in Socialist utopia for a day or two before embarking on the last leg of our journey to the rotten bourgeois heart of Paris. Et vive la révolution prolétarienne !

Last edited by brisavoine; February 18th, 2010 at 04:22 AM.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 03:41 AM   #55
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I recently drove from Lyon to Nice and didn't see any of the 'suicide' roads. The roads were mostly in excellent condition. In the Spring I plan on driving from Nice to Marseilles, along the coastal highway. Anyone have an idea how long that trip would take in mid April? I plan on driving at a leisurely pace. sorry for the off topic.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 03:49 AM   #56
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Better dead than red !!! Long live the proletariat !
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Old February 18th, 2010, 04:04 AM   #57
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The housing buildings in km 32 do look really similar to the buildings built as "Plattenbau" in the old DDR.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 04:17 AM   #58
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Quote:
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Long live the proletariat !
This makes me think, the Parisians have a way to shorten all the words in Parisian slang. The Métropolitain is of course called "le Métro". Work is called "le boulot" (final "t" is not pronounced). Sleep is called "le dodo". Hence the phrase "Métro, boulot, dodo", which is a sarcastic phrase that the Parisians use to describe their alienated lives in the big city. But my point here is the prolétaires (proletarians) are called "les prolos" in Parisian slang. If someone calls you "prolo", it can be either endearing or disparaging, depending on the context.

Last edited by brisavoine; February 18th, 2010 at 04:28 AM.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 08:38 AM   #59
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Here I know where we are.
Of course it could look East Berlin with a lot more ethnic diversity.
Still a little way before arriving in Central Paris.

I don't know how you could avoid red belt, it is the case of pretty much every municipalities around.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 11:51 AM   #60
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