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Old January 9th, 2012, 11:45 PM   #1761
Wimpie
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I only seek to publish the truth, a truth some people often find hard to accept even. People that don't live in this country apperently know things better than people that do. I respect everyone who can contribute to this medium in a respectful way, people like you.
I always try to stick to roads in this topic but whenever I even make the slightest hint to the political language reality in this country some forum members jump on it like a bull on a cow in mating season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Obviously, you don't know your own Constitution:

"Art. 30

Het gebruik van de in BelgiŽ gesproken talen is vrij; het kan niet worden geregeld dan door de wet en alleen voor handelingen van het openbaar gezag en voor gerechtszaken."

http://www.senate.be/doc/const_nl.html
True and that is exactly what I meant, the public authority in Brussels is the only one in Belgium that is compelled by law to consider Brussels absolutely billingual. So in every official publication by an official authority, Dutch and French are equal to each other. That can go far, announcements in trainstations have to be equally long and the order (French or Dutch first) is fixed differently for every station depending on its number, if its an even or uneven day of the month, it can change by the week, month, season or year.

The fonts used on traffic signs, warning-stickers on dustbins or billboards with public announcements have to be equally large (or small). French sounding words in Dutch have to be avoided and even if the name of a town has only one letter different in either language both have still to be shown.

All of this does not apply to municipalities with language facilities. In those community's one of the official Belgian languages is offered to the minority group as a geste. The official language will always remain for example Dutch and thus the municipal authority is only obliged to offer publications in the other lanuage when the minority group asks for it.

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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Bi-lingual means EITHER language, not BOTH languages, right?

I can call Bruxelles as so or as Brussel and both are mutually equivalents.
Learn your languages, "bilingual" means "two-languages" which in a Belgian legal context (and English in general) always implies both. And why would YOU (who I suspect of being of Dutch origin) use the name "Bruxelles"? It is not the original name nor the oldest and 65% of the Belgian population still refers to its capital as "Brussel".

Last edited by Wimpie; January 9th, 2012 at 11:55 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 12:24 PM   #1762
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Bi-lingual means two languages indeed. Not "both" or "either". Both or either is a decision that is made afterwards due to the context. Someone who is bi-lingual knows two languages and can speak BOTH language or have a preference for EITHER the first or the second language (for example).

A bi-lingual sign however always contains BOTH languages. Bilingual communication means that BOTH languages are used in the communication.

As for that extract of the constitution: it states that the use of languages is free, but that only the law is allowed to regulate it for actions of a public authority or for court cases. I thoroughly hate how it was stated in the constitution as it very clearly shows it is very poorly translated from French (Dutch doesn't use "kan niet ... dan" (can not... than) as is done in French: "ne peut pas... que"). Dutch hardly ever uses double negations, while French is full of them. If you were using Google Translate, it's very likely it'd screw up that translation as what you're seeing there isn't proper Dutch (like in so many legal texts).

Anyway, the bilingualism in Brussels is only to be reflected on signs and communication of any public services, it doesn't say how people themselves should communicate (yes, I'm talking English here, so I'll use the English term, but choose whichever you please yourself, as long as we understand each other). As I've said before: I feel there should be an exception to this rule whenever there's a sign pointing towards an area with a different language situation. If there's a sign to the Heysel/Heizel (Brussels) in Flanders, it should be signed as "Heizel/Heysel" there as well. And any signs pointing to "Vilvorde/Vilvoorde" in Brussels should just be "Vilvoorde". But I don't know of a single politician who will be willing to ever see the logical reasoning behind this (even though the situation on the R0 is indeed a perfect example of how it shouldn't be).
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Old January 10th, 2012, 01:02 PM   #1763
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimpie View Post


(..)True and that is exactly what I meant, the public authority in Brussels is the only one in Belgium that is compelled by law to consider Brussels absolutely billingual. So in every official publication by an official authority, Dutch and French are equal to each other. That can go far, announcements in trainstations have to be equally long and the order (French or Dutch first) is fixed differently for every station depending on its number, if its an even or uneven day of the month, it can change by the week, month, season or year.(..)
Isn't this part of Belgium bilingual too?

Looking towards Hainaut/Henegouwen.


Other, Dutch only speaking side.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 01:17 PM   #1764
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post

A little while back I crossed the E17 border from Lille into Belgium, heading towards Antwerp. Right from the border, the road is in top condition. And I mean top top TOP condition. And just as I started thinking that I may have been a bit pre-mature about Belgian roads, I've hit Waregem. And all my illusions were gone. It really was like driving on a railroad.
What I'm saying is, that everywhere in Belgium, there are good sections, there are bad sections. But overall, Belgium is (still) lacking behind to its western-European partners.

I never saw you making a comment about the E34 Antwerp-Eindhoven. Have you been on it?
I drive a lot in Belgium and may say there is a huge improvement in road infrastructure made in the last decade there. And, if I have to compare Belgian roads' condition to any other place in Western Europe, I would say it might be described as on similar or little higher level as the one in Britain.

However, E34 on the mentioned stretch is real piece of c..p, I must say.

By the way, I have photographed E17 all the way down from French border to Antwerp. Would you like to have a look on it?
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Old January 10th, 2012, 01:23 PM   #1765
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The problem with Belgian roads is not the average, I'd say. The average state of Belgian roads is sub-par with its neighbors (France, Luxembourg, Germany and Netherlands), but not that much worse.

The real issue, IMO, is that the same average can be the sum of less or more extreme situations. In the case of Belgium, while they do have some nice roads, they also have extremely bad roads and especially major works like interchanges, viaducts etc.

I'll re-post some questions that were not answered because of the language discussion:

Quote:
Now, some questions about R0 and adjacent roads:

1. Near this exit, E429 has traffic lights less than 1200m after interchange Halle. Are there any plans to build an overpass there, or a junction, or else? It is the worse possible design solution, which surely means traffic jams there.

2. From what I see in interhcange Itre, the only logical conclusion is that they have some plans to extend the highway westward towards. Where will this highway go in the future, and are there any schedule for its completion?

3. Here we can see partially built ramps off R0 into Bruxelles that are probably part of plans to create a decent junction there. Am I right?
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Old January 10th, 2012, 01:36 PM   #1766
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E429 Halle plans:
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Old January 10th, 2012, 01:59 PM   #1767
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^
seems to be very expensive chriss, halle must have some expension plans to get this paid, or is this more like a visionary thing? like whishfull thinking..
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Old January 10th, 2012, 02:03 PM   #1768
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post

Off topic, but while I'm on a tear (:-P), what do our Dutch friends think of this? http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/3184/...-van-ons.dhtml
And where does any non-native speaker get off (in the comments) saying that "American" is not "real English"?
Ik denk dat het een verhaal gelul is van een dronken aardbei.

If someone doesnt understand the role of English in the modern society, he doenst understand much. If domestic language is preffered to english in domestic university education it is equal to calling for mediocrity.

English is at the moment the only trully world level language, a fortiori in education business. Whether you like it or not. No one asks you for the permission, nor that you could give one.

Anyone should be able to master its home country language after the primary school (here we come to the problems of education classification, but I would express it by basic school - till 15). If the intellectual horizon of that person should reach anywhere above the primary school level education, and he is not by default an english language native speaker, he has to learn english.

Last edited by Surel; January 10th, 2012 at 02:22 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 02:50 PM   #1769
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr71 View Post
Isn't this part of Belgium bilingual too?

Looking towards Hainaut/Henegouwen.
[IMG]

Other, Dutch only speaking side.
[IMG]
No, Comines/Komen is a community with language facilities for the Dutch-speaking (it's not exactly the same as bilingual, legally speaking). Being a community with language facilities gives the option of adding the other language to signs, which is apparently done there.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 03:14 PM   #1770
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr71 View Post
Isn't this part of Belgium bilingual too?

Looking towards Hainaut/Henegouwen.
http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-X9...0/IMGP6159.JPG

Other, Dutch only speaking side.
http://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Rw...0/IMGP6156.JPG
Yes that's correct, there are municipalities where the offered facilities almost equal the billinguality of Brussels or sometimes it goes even further than that. Usually these area's have a history in what we call the "language war". Language always has always been dominant in these area's and influenced alot of the daily life. For example the town in the example you gave; Komen-Waasten / Comines-Warneton has a history with the short stretch of Freeway now known as the N58. Because of a comunautary conflict between Flanders and Wallonia on the other side of the country in another hot region Voeren/Fourons it came to a dead end at the Flemish border.

Another one is the A17 in the same region, because Flanders refused to construct the N58, Wallonia stopped construction on the A17, for years it ended north of Dottenijs/Dottignies (a Wallonian town with Flemish facilities).
Drivers comming from the direction of Brugges in Flanders had to leave the freeway at the Aalbeke interchange. This section was built in the 70's but because Wallonia only finished the missing section in 1998, 10 km's of freeway up to the border haven't been in use for more than 20 years. It was however used alot by bikers and horseback riders and it also appeared in some movies.

Video about its history, with subtitles.



You can still see the border today
http://maps.google.be/maps?q=komen+w...182.41,,0,9.67
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Old January 10th, 2012, 03:24 PM   #1771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cees View Post
^
seems to be very expensive chriss, halle must have some expension plans to get this paid, or is this more like a visionary thing? like whishfull thinking..
Freeways and national roads are not financed by cities or municipalities but the Flemish government...
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Old January 10th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #1772
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Private exit from motorway?
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Waterl...1,,0,2.83&z=15
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Old January 10th, 2012, 03:55 PM   #1773
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keber View Post
This section of R0, technically, is not a highway (autoroute).
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Old January 10th, 2012, 04:05 PM   #1774
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There are even houses, shops and such against that part of R0, It's not highway indeed, just an expressway.

http://g.co/maps/eesu5
http://g.co/maps/crxcf
http://g.co/maps/db237
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Old January 11th, 2012, 07:36 PM   #1775
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E17 (F)(B) - Antwerp. Christmas Day 8.30 AM































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Old January 11th, 2012, 07:49 PM   #1776
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E17































These two black objects are blown away tyres which happen to be quite popular sight on Belgian motorways.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 08:32 PM   #1777
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OMG! It's so empty! Everyone was sitting home with family I guess

Great pics though
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Old January 11th, 2012, 08:33 PM   #1778
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E17

Holly Christ




The surface is just about perfect. It's been done huge improvement on this stretch in the last 5 years. Until then it was covered with an old, overused concrete.








I like markings on Belgian merging lanes as well as their shape. It's very logical.


There is plenty of speed cameras on Belgian roads.


Nazareth, Gent and Antwerp in one day... it must be a Christmas miracle or so.
















It is third abandoned car I noticed that day.






Actually, I expected rest area named somewhat more spectacularly, let's say...Betlehem.






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Old January 11th, 2012, 09:38 PM   #1779
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E17























I think one famous Polish footballer played in Lokeren in eighties, unfortunately do not remember who it could be. Boniek, Lato, Szarmach?






















Debris on hard shoulder - blown tyre remaining again.




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Old January 11th, 2012, 09:41 PM   #1780
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I've never seen our highways that empty before!
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